Narendra Modi: Our Fight Is For Kashmir, Not Against Kashmiris

After a long silence on assaults on Kashmiris in Northern India after the Pulwama terror attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday finally spoke in favour of Kashmiris. At a rally at Tonk, Rajasthan, he warned against the targeting of Kashmiris. “Our fight is for Kashmir, not against Kashmiris… Kashmiris have suffered the most due to terrorism, and the rest of the country must stand in their support,” NDTV quoted him as saying.

Since the suicide bomb attack in Jammu and Kashmir, that claimed the lives of over 40 troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force last Thursday, there have been reports of attacks and social boycotts of Kashmiris across India. The Supreme Court on Friday asked 10 states to take “prompt action” to stop these incidents.

From West Bengal to Patna and Jammu, several Kashmiri students and businessmen have complained of being harassed or beaten up. Hundreds have returned to Kashmir to escape persecution.

No senior leader had condemned these attacks yet so vigorously till the Prime Minister’s address today. However, the party’s allies, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena, had denounced them.

A few days back Meghalaya governor and former BJP leader Tathagata Roy urged the social boycott of Kashmiris. “An appeal from a retired colonel of the Indian Army: Don’t visit Kashmir,don’t go to Amarnath for the next 2 years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri. I am inclined to agree,” he had tweeted.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah responded to the Prime Minister’s words:

Though Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, the suicide bomber was a man who lived just 10 km from the spot.

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