Kashmiri men allegedly attacked in Jharkhand ask “Are we not indian?”

The migrant businessmen say they were forced to chant "Jai Sri Ram, Pakistan Murdabad"; CM compelled to respond


“They have made life hell for us. On one hand they say Kashmir is our crown. Then they want to cut the crown off… We are Indians! Have we not shed blood for the country? Is it a crime to be a Kashmiri? We respect tourists so much. They beat us, force us to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Pakistan Murdabad’. Four of us were beaten mercilessly… they call us terrorists. We are Indians and the law is equal for all….There should be no discrimination,” says Riyaz Ahmed Wani who hails from Pahalgam, Kashmir. He was one of the rare migrant workers who found the courage to speak up about the latest attack on him and his fellow Kashmiris who worked as businessmen/ migrant traders selling winter essentials in Jharkhand. 



The video clip went viral over the weekend and on Sunday even the state Chief Minister Hemant Soren retweeted the link to the video stating strict action will be taken against the culprits. “There is no place for religious enmity and discrimination in Jharkhand,” said the CM, one of the rare state heads in North India to respond to such communal attacks on Muslims, especially Kashmiri sellers who sell winterwear across north India this time each year. 



When attacked again on Saturday, a 34-year-old man [presumably Ahmed] also lodged a police complaint, details of which emerged on Sunday. According to news, reports he has complained that in Ranchi’s Doranda area a mob of around 25 people attacked him and other Kashmiri traders and forced them to chant ”Jai Shri Ram” and ”Pakistan Murdabad”. Jharkhand Police told the media on Sunday that it detained three persons who were allegedly a part of a group that allegedly forced Kashmiri traders to chant ”Jai Shri Ram” and ”Pakistan Murdabad”.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Surendra Kumar Jha told the media that “an investigation has been initiated into the matter and action will be taken against anyone found guilty.”  It was reported that as expected the accused denied all charges. 

Not the first time that Kashmiris workers attacked in North India 

However, this is not the first time that Kashmiris have been attacked. The victims reportedly said that it was for the fifth time since Diwali that they have been targeted in Ranchi. Elsewhere too Kashmiri workers, migrants, students have also been targeted by communal mobs who seem to be coming out in droves now. The small-time businessmen from Kashmir become easy targets for such communal Hindutva vigilante mobs, including those led by women, on the streets of North India. The victims are Muslims, Dalits, Christians, all of those attacked are often also economically challenged. 

In November a similar incident was reported from Aligarh where a Muslim vendor was allegedly attacked and forced to chant “Jai Sri Ram” by a father and son duo. According to a report in The Telegraph the victim’s relatives said the accused have “had a history of intimidating members of the minority community” in the area. The victim, identified as Mohammad Amir, a vendor who sells clothes on a handcart, had to be taken to a local hospital after he was assaulted, allegedly by Awadhesh Kumar and his son Devesh Kumar alias Raju. The victim is a resident of Silla while the accused live in adjoining Nangla Khem in Harduaganj in Aligarh, stated the news report.

Remember attacks on Kashmiri students after India lost to Pakistan?

In October, soon after team India was defeated by team Pakistan at the T20 World Cup match and the online trolling targeting Muslims, including Mohammad Shami, the only Muslim player in the indian team started. However, even more disturbing reports came in from Punjab, where police had to reach the Bhai Gurdas Institute of Engineering and Technology campus after several Kashmiri students were allegedly assaulted there, soon after the match ended. The college is located in Punjab’s Sangrur area. One of the Kashmiri students shared the video of the ransacking on social media and said, “We were watching the match here. UP waale barged in. We came here to study. We are also Indian. You can see what was done to us. Are we not Indians? So what does Modi say?” 



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