A newspaper advertisement offering sale of land “to Muslims only” has evoked outrage in Jammu.
Muslims have joined Hindus and other communities in denouncing the advertisement placed by a private real-estate dealer.
“It is unfortunate that such communal provocations are being made in a region where there is harmony. There should be an immediate government action against such efforts,” said Rabiyah Hayat Ansari, a social worker at Gujjar Nagar.
The advertisement calling out to people interesting in purchasing land divided into 5, 10 and 20-marla plots at Sunjwan area was published on Tuesday.
Many readers expressed their anger to the newspaper that published the advertisement and asked it for a clarification. They said the ad had the potential to divide the different communities of the region that is already grappling with the tension over the beef row.
The state recently witnessed communal tension after the state high court ordered implementation of a decades-old ban on bovine slaughter. The order led to protests in Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley and counter protests in Hindu-majority Jammu. The high court later discarded its own order, but not before a Kashmiri truck driver died after being attacked by a petrol bomb in the Udhampur area last month.
The real estate developer, Yasir Ahmed, however, said the Muslims-only line had been wrongly added in the advertisement. “It was a mistake by the person who was entrusted with the job of getting the ad published,” Ahmed said and promised to issue a fresh advertisement on Wednesday.
“We intend to invite people from all communities to purchase the land here so that we could set pioneer into an example of advocating brotherhood and communal harmony,” said Yasir Malik.
No such clarification appeared in the newspaper.
“The damage has been done. The advertisement has sent the impression to the people concerned. Changing it today won’t help,” said Kulbhushan Gupta, a real estate manager.