Jammu,March 26 :
Strongly deploring the Police lathi charge on the protestors demanding district status at Nowshera besides the suppressive policy of local administration to muzzle the mass agitation in Hirangar seeking CBI probe in Rasana murder case on the behest of State government, scores of Panther activists led by Mr. Harsh Dev Singh Chairman JKNPP staged a vociferous protest at Exhibition Ground in Jammu today. While torching the effigy of BJP, the agitated protesters accused the sinister alliance of fomenting trouble in Kathua and Rajouri under a well planned ‘divide and rule’ policy to serve their political interests.
Smelling a deep rooted conspiracy hatched by the unholy alliance , Mr. Harsh Dev Singh held the Saffron party squarely responsible in particular for mishandling the situation in Nowshera. He said that they had purportedly provoked the people in Nowshera, Sunderbani and Kalakote to create a wedge between them and ultimately divest them of district status which had been a coveted demand of the people since decades. He said that if four districts could be created in Kashmir within 20 kms radius including Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian, the denial of District status to Nowshera was totally unacceptable. With Nowshera observing complete bandh for the last 40 days and having suffered immense losses in terms of commerce and trade, the brutal police lathi charge on the peaceful protestors demanding district status for Nowshera had made the situation to take an ugly turn which led to clashes between the protestors and the police, anguished Harsh said. He said that the State government instead of taking the people of all the three tehsils on board to resolve the issue, had exhibited worst example of mal-governance by taking arbitrary decisions which only created an explosive situation in tehsil Nowshera. Condemning the baton charge and tear gas shelling on the protestors in which dozens of people got injured and several vehicles were damaged, Mr. Singh demanded judicial inquiry into the police excesses on the innocent public of Nowshera and the adjoining places. He said that Panthers party was committed to take forward the demand of district status to Nowshera as it was the genuine and legitimate right of the people who had been fighting for their cause vigorously. He further called upon the govt. to examine the demand of other tehsils agitating for conferment of District status.
Accusing the BJP-PDP government of its failure in conducting fair and transparent investigation in the child homicide case of Asifa Bano in Hiranagar, Mr, Harsh Dev Singh demanded CBI probe into the heinous murder which had led to the civil unrest in Kathua and Samba districts. Expressing solidarity with the family of the deceased child, he said that the mass detentions of the minors besides harassment of innocent people by the police under the garb of crime investigation had led to mass agitation. He wondered that why the government was reluctant to hand over the case to CBI for impartial probe when the people of entire Kathua district were expressing their wish and raising the demand for the same. Migration of residents of village Rassana in Hiranagar had worsened the situation and the subsequent violent clash between the protestors and the police at Chadwal a few days ago had further aggravated the scenario, Harsh said. He said that BJP-PDP alliance failing on governance front was deliberately flaring up tensions in Kathua district with a motive to polarize the electorate for petty political interests. The BJP had bowed down before its ally and failed to provide justice to the people. Its ministers should immediately resign as they had lost moral right to continue in the office, Harsh roared. He demanded transfer of Asifa murder case from JK police to CBI for thorough investigation so that the perpetrator of the heinous crime should be immediately apprehended and punished under the law.
Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Gagan Pratap Singh, Shyam Gorkha, Parshotam Parihar, Rampaul, Sansar Chand, Mohinder Singh, Vishav Singh besides others.