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Untoo threatens immolation if VDCs not disbanded

Srinagar, August 20, 2013 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, human rights activist and Chairman of International Forum for Justice and Human Rights Forum, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo has threatened to commit self-immolation at Lal Chowk in Srinagar if the so-called Village Defence Committees (VDCs) are not disbanded before September 5.

Muhammad Ahsan Untoo in a media interview in Srinagar said, as the role VDCs stands exposed, these should be disbanded. He threatened that if the demand was not met within 15 days, he would commit self-immolation on September 5.

On December 10, 2002, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo had tried to immolate himself at Red Cross Road in Srinagar by pouring kerosene oil over his body and setting himself on fire. He was demanding setting-up of an inquiry commission to probe human rights violations by Indian troops and police in the occupied territory since 1990.

Meanwhile, the Muslims of Jammu region still feel insecure, fearing that members of the notorious VDCs may instigate violence again. They told media men that normalcy could return in the region only when the VDCs were disbanded.

“The real problem in the region is VDCs. We always feel insecure because they have long history of harassing and targeting the Muslims in the region. How can we live in peace when such armed forces with communal mindset roam around us,” said Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Bhaderwah town.

The residents of Kishtwar said that the role played by the VDC members in instigating local Hindus against the Muslims on the day of Eid and later using violence against them clearly depicted their anti-Muslim ideology.

Ghulam Hassan, a resident of Kishtwar, while recalling what happened in the town on Eid day, said that a procession of Muslims chanting religious slogans from nearby village was coming towards Eidgah to offer prayers, but on the way few persons had an altercation with the bodyguard of local BJP candidate, Sunil Kumar.

“The bodyguard later went to Hindu majority village and instigated the people against the Muslims, who in thousands along with members of VDCs and other communal group marched towards Eidgah which led to the clashes between two groups for several hours,” he added.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Email: info@kmsnews.org
Phone: 92-51-4435548, 4435549
Fax: 92-51-4861736

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