A fresh controversy has again engulfed the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In a disturbing piece of news, a Sikh girl studying in a government Islamic university was stabbed by two unidentified men. The Sikh girl was allegedly stabbed because she had refused to convert to Islam. Mandeep Kaur was studying electrical engineering at the Islamic University of Science and Technology at Awantipora in Pulwama district. She was attacked on the 2nd of July while she was waiting for a bus which would take her to the university.
The girl’s father spoke about how the girl was being pressurised from a long time back to convert to Islam. He said, “They started threatening her to keep roza, read the namaz….when she refused saying her religion doesn’t permit her to do so, they would taunt her and call her names” . She was also previously attacked physically by a boy who had threatened to kill her. Mandeep had stopped going to college since these events occurred and her father had even gone to meet the vice-chancellor, Mushtaq A. Siddiqui to complain about the same. The vice-chancellor of the college had assured Amarjeet Singh that her daughter would be safe in the university. Amarjeet Singh also alleged that his daughter was being tortured badly by three boys and one girl from the university to convert, as the mental torture had driven Mandeep to attempt suicide thrice.
This news is not shocking as it is coming from the increasingly radicalised section of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is moving leaps and bounds towards extremism. The minds of the citizens from the Kashmir valley have been radicalized and poisoned continuously over the years through propaganda from Pakistan and separatist leaders.
Mandeep Kaur’s ordeal is an example which shows how the disillusioned Kashmiris want to spread their religion. Their hate for other religions and their followers is displayed every now and then, as it was in the unfortunate and uncalled for stabbing of an innocent Sikh girl. This is further demonstrated the growing number of followers of Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK) a terrorist group or the numerous acts of terror committed against religious minorities in the valley. Islamization of the valley seems to be the only goal of these terrorists and after driving away the Kashmiri Pandits, the Sikh community seems to be their next target. This incident might be miniscule in impact but reminds us of the hell which was unleashed on the Kashmiri Pandits in the 1990s. The valley was wiped out clean of them, as the minorities from the valley suffered at the hands of the majority Islamic population.
India as a country has tried hard to retain its secular fabric all throughout the 70+ years since it got independence from the British. Kashmir has been an exception where with each passing day communal tension rises and it has been done at the behest of the radical Islamic forces operating in the valley. Their goals and modus operandi seem to have penetrated the minds of youth in the valley too, Indian government should take strict action against the culprits. It should also ensure that the institutions which impart education and employment are cleansed of communal forces in the valley, since a clampdown on the radical Islamist mindset is a must and is necessary for Kashmir to prosper. It is the only way to ensure the safety of minorities in the valley.
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