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Makkar accuses discrimination against flood-hit Sikhs in J&K

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar has claimed that flood-affected Sikh inhabitants in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) are not being "looked after properly".

punjab Updated: Sep 25, 2014 21:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar has claimed that flood-affected Sikh inhabitants in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) are not being "looked after properly".

"As the Sikhs are in minority in J&K, they are not being looked after properly," stated the memorandum, which Makkar handedover to governor NN Vohra in Srinagar on Tuesday.

The SGPC president also made a reference of "discrimination" against the Sikhs during a meeting with chief minister Omar Abdullah.

Prior to his meeting with Abdullah, Makkar toured some of the flood-hit localities in and around Srinagar and met a number of Sikh families, who reportedly complained to him that the government was not bothering about their plight, as they were in a minority in the state.

A release issued by the SGPC headquarters here on Wednesday said local Kashmiri Sikhs accompanied Makkar for his meeting with the chief minister.

In the memorandum, a copy of which was also handed over to the CM, Makkar said he was well aware that in a tragedy of such a great magnitude, it was impossible to please all, but the army had put in a great deal of effort and so had many other organisations.

Specifying the complaints he had received from flood-hit Sikh families, Makkar said he was told that no efforts were made by the government or any other organisation to rescue them after their homes was submerged.

He pointed out in the memorandum that the SGPC was providing relief to all and was not discriminating with anyone.

Makkar appealed to the governor and the CM that when the government takes-up the task of rehabilitating the flood-hit families, Sikh families should not be left out and should be treated on par with others, the memorandum stated.

Makkar also made a reference of a special package for the flood-hit Sikh families. He referred to business and trade of a large number of Sikh families having been affected.

In the memorandum, the SGPC chief claimed that nearly 4,000 Sikh families living in Srinagar had been suffered due to the flood,while around 30 lost their lives in Srinagar alone.

Makkar told the CM that 83 homes of Sikhs had either been collapsed or damaged. He also told the CM that he had received complaints that the government authorities in Srinagar were yet to pump out water from some of the localities, where Sikh families were staying.

However, Omar assured Makkar that there would not be any discrimination against the Sikhs in his state and promised to look into his complaints as well.

Omar praises humanitarian task carried out by SGPC

The chief minister, in the meantime, had all praise for humanitarian task carried out by the SGPC in providing relief material and medicines to the flood-affected people.

He also made a mention of the relief camp at Gurdwara Shaheed Bunga near Srinagar, where a large number of homeless were being provided food and shelter.

Omar noted that the SGPC had provided over 5,000 tonnes dry ration so far, and was still doing it. He also promised to look into Makkar's complaint that the SGPC was finding it difficult to distribute the relief material in Srinagar.

Omar urged Makkar more blankets, quilts, mattresses and warm clothes would be needed for those who had been rendered homeless in view of upcoming winter season.

First Published: Sep 25, 2014 21:45 IST