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regular-article-logo Friday, 21 June 2024

Fear grips Kashmiri woollen traders after attacks in Ranchi

They cited the repeated attempts at intimidation and forcing them to chant religious slogans and the attempt to shield the real perpetrators by the police

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 13.11.21, 12:06 AM
Kashmiri vendors at Paras Toli in Ranchi on Friday

Kashmiri vendors at Paras Toli in Ranchi on Friday Manob Chowdhary

Woollen traders from Kashmir in Jharkhand capital Ranchi are in a grip of fear after repeated incidents of intimidation, assault and forcing them to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Pakistan Murdabad”.

The nearly 300 woollen traders, mostly from Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, who frequent Ranchi and other parts of Jharkhand with woollen garments between October and March are feeling insecure and hurt not only with the repeated attempts at intimidation and forcing them to chant religious slogans but at the attempt to shield the real perpetrators by the police.

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“We have been coming to Ranchi along with nearly 300 other woollen garments traders for the past two decades. However, this has been the first time we had to face such a situation. In fact, in the past one week there has been four such incidents — at Lowadih, Kadru bridge, Kishoreganj and on Thursday at Doranda where youths targeted us and threatened to damage our goods if we do not leave the city and chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Pakistan Murdabad’. It also hurts us that police though helpful have failed to nab the real perpetrators and only arrested one person who we could identify based on the scooter registration number,” said Bilal Ahmed Wani, 35, a native of Pahalgam who is staying in a rented house at Doranda in Ranchi.

One of the assault victims Bilal Ahmed Wani

One of the assault victims Bilal Ahmed Wani Manob Chowdhary

Another Kashmiri youth, Riaz Ahmed Wani, 26, said that they could identify one youth Raj Kishore based on the scooter registration number — JH01CG6705.

“We could recognise the youth as he was riding the same scooter and was found in all the four sites where our Kashmiri brothers were intimated and assaulted. We could understand that the one youth would pursue us and at secluded places accost and start shouting expletives at us. He would phone up and in a few minutes nearly 8-10 youths would turn up in front of which we would be asked to chant religious slogans and threatened of dire consequences. It is clear that the youth belongs to a group and on his phone call several youths turn up in a few minutes. Despite our several pleas before the police, the complaint written in Hindi, as we are not well versed in Hindi, mentions only one youth who was arrested and sent to jail on Friday afternoon,” said Riaz Ahmed Wani.

The complainant in the Thursday case, Bilal Ahmed, also claimed that the police refused to entertain his verbal pleas for naming other persons. “I am not well versed in Hindi and they dictated us what to write in the complaint. Despite my persistence they did not mention that there were several youths who used to come to the spot at the call of Raj Kishore. Though, it was Raj Kishore who had assaulted me on Thursday with kicks and punches,” said Bilal.

Ranchi senior superintendent of police, Surendra Kumar Jha, tried to play down the incident.

Manob Chowdhary

“It was not a big incident. The accused is a drug addict and we have arrested him and he has been sent to jail. There have been no criminal antecedents of the arrested youth,” said Ranchi SSP.

Doranda thana officer-in-charge, Ramesh Singh said that the accused Raj Kishore is aged around 27 and is a known

addict. “He does not possess any criminal history. The youth is known to be an addict. We are not aware of any other incidents with the Kashmiri youth in the past. Based on their complaint which was against the one accused we have arrested him and sent to jail,” said Singh. The accused has been sent to jail charged under Sections 341/323/295A and 506 of the IPC.

Nawab Chisty, a resident of Doranda who had reached the spot on Thursday and helped the Kashmiri youths, said that the arrested youth belonged to a right wing outfit.

“He is known to be associated with Bhagwa Rakshak Dal and also with Hindu Jagran Manch and is also a resident of Doranda,” said Chisty.

Jharkhand High Court advocate Mohammed Shadab Ansari who has been handling the mob lynching case based on religious ground as part of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM-a coalition of rights outfit) said that based on modus operandi of mob-lynching there is a WhatsApp group through which members target individuals of minority and other communities.

“Based on past incidents there is one youth who does recce of the target (minority and vulnerable community) and informs the groups who reach the spot in quick intervals to commit the act,” said Mohammed Shadab Ansari.

According to the list released by the JJM, 29 persons belonging to tribal, tribal Christian and Muslim communities have either been lynched or beaten up by mob on suspicion of cow slaughter, sale and consumption of beef and religious hatred in Jharkhand between the year 2016 and 2020.

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