Hair cut fuels Sikh protest in J&K

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Hair cut fuels Sikh protest in J&K


Members of the Sikh community blocked roads and Sikh organisations protested on Thursday as a Sikh youth was beaten up and his hair chopped off on Wednesday.

Serving a two-day ultimatum to the state government for taking action against the culprits, the organisations demanded special probe into the incident.

Some unidentified persons allegedly beat up and chopped off the hair of a Sikh youth, Mithunpal Singh, a resident of Tral in Pulwama district, about 160 km from here.

Deputy inspector General of Police in south Kashmir, Shafaqat Watali, said, “Some youth asked him to raise pro-freedom slogans. He obliged. But when they asked him to recite kalma (Islamic prayer), he resisted.
They beat him and some of his hair was chopped off.“

“He does not know who the attackers were. We have registered a case for hurting religious sentiments, attempt to murder and dacoity and arrested two suspects,“ he said.

Sikh youths blocked the Jammu-Pathankote National Highway in protest. The police resorted to mild cane-charge.

The situation was brought under control when Muslims, the police and administration urged people to disperse.

State president of All India Shiromani Akali Dal Joginder Singh Shaan said, “There is every apprehension that some agency wants to create a rift between us and the Muslims.“

Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called the incident “highly un-civilsed and unacceptable“. A government spokesman said CM Omar Abdullah also condemned the incident.


Condemning the cutting of a Sikh's hair by miscreants in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar has sought an appointment with J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah over the issue.

Makkar said, “The incident is very unfortunate; we have received numerous complaints.
The Sikh community has shown resentment.“

“I have written to the J&K CM for a meeting so that an SGPC delegation can go there and talk about the problems faced by Sikhs in that state.
The hair-cutting was aimed at conversion,“ he added.

Makkar, in a letter to Abdullah, said, “The Sikh community has a historical relation with Jammu and Kashmir and the community has contributed a lot to the development of the state.“ “It is the responsibility of the J&K government to look into the matter seriously and punish all those behind it,“ Makkar added.

Disturbing: Dal Khalsa

The Dal Khalsa has taken strong exception to the Pulwama incident. “The news has disturbed Sikhs in Punjab,“ said Dal Khalsa chief H.S. Dhami, adding that the organisation had taken up the matter with various Muslim and political organisations in Kashmir.
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