Calls to boycott and harass Kashmiris are unacceptable and must be condemned by all parties
February 25, 2019
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), today called on the state and central governments in India to enforce law and order and defend ordinary Kashmiris from harassment and mob attacks in the wake of the Pulwama attacks in which over 40 Indian soldiers were killed.
Kashmiri students and businessmen in other states have been attacked, and in some cases given ultimatums to go back to Kashmir within 24 hours. Dozens of cars have been set on fire in Jammu, while a helpline setup by the Jammu and Kashmir Student Organization received over 1,600 distress calls from Kashmiris across Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
Perhaps one of the most condemnable action by a state leader came from the Governor of Meghalaya who has recently supported a call for boycott of “everything Kashmiri.” Such incendiary rhetoric further inflames passions, creates a dangerously divisive atmosphere and is ultimately a disservice to the memory of the soldiers who laid down their lives at Pulwama. It is such state-sponsored harassment and violence that has prompted the Supreme Court of India to order the government to protect Kashmiris from the backlash.
“The attacks on Kashmiris across India are a result of vested interests politicizing the Pulwama attacks and using it to foment sectarian strife ahead of the elections, ” said Mr. Ahsan Khan, President of the Indian American Muslim Council. “The people of India must see through these divisive attacks and hold accountable those who are using human lives as pawns in a cynical abuse of state power,” added Mr. Khan.
IAMC commends the actions of the ordinary citizens going out of their way to help Kashmiris who are under siege in various states, the Punjab police’s decision to setup a helpline for Kashmiris facing threats, should be emulated by other states. IAMC has called on civil society institutions to condemn not only the terror attacks of Pulwama but also the terror unleashed against innocent Kashmiris in the name of nationalism.
Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information, please visit our website at: http://iamc.com/
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