Harassment

Feud over stray dogs or Hate Crime? Residents wrote to PMO in April alleging ‘Kashmiri siblings harbour terrorists’

FOA letter to Rajnath counters MHA claim that attack was over stray dogs, had nothing to do with identity and religion

Letter dated April 2, says family ‘harbouring terrorists’, ‘under garb of feeding dogs keeps residents away’

FOA had alleged family of Muslims claim to be “trained to destroy Kafirs”

FOA had addressed the letter to MHA, PMO, LG of Delhi and Delhi Police

On Friday, a video surfaced on social media networks in which a Kashmiri woman was being beaten up by a mob in India’s capital, New Delhi. It was reported that she was beaten up for ‘feeding stray dogs’.

However, the brother of the victim, who was also targeted told Free Press Kashmir that they were beaten up because of their identity, that they are Kashmiris.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and Delhi Police maintained that the attack on four siblings from Kashmir at Siddhartha Extension on Thursday night was over the issue of feeding dogs, and had nothing to do with the state they come from.

However, a letter sent by the president of the flat occupants’ association (FOA) to the Prime Minister’s Office on April 2 suggests otherwise.

ALSO READ: Hate Crime: ‘We were beaten up for being Kashmiris, my sister’s clothes were torn’

The letter, marked to the Home Minister, the Lieutenant Governor and the Delhi Police chief, and signed by FOA president SN Pandey, reads, “We have serious apprehensions that these persons are involved in certain illegal activities viz harbouring of terrorists. They have taken five flats on rent and residents have noticed movement of suspicious people in the colony at night. Since this whisper started spreading in the colony, the persons started feeding dogs under the garb of animal welfare; they do not allow residents to move in the colony at night.”

The victims have alleged that the accused called them “Kashmiri terrorists” while beating them up.

On Saturday, police arrested four people, including Pandey. The Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik informed Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba that the incident had nothing to do with the “origin” of the siblings, an official said.

The MHA too, in a statement, reiterated, “The incident has nothing to do with the origins of the family… A dispute over feeding of stray dogs took place on Thursday night.”

ALSO READ: Cops arrest four for beating Kashmiris in Delhi, say ‘fight was over feeding stray dogs’, victims maintain ‘it was a hate crime’

However in the letter, the residents allege, “They claim they are Muslims and have been trained to destroy families of kafirs and make their lives hell. Residents have no other alternative but to unite and take action in self defence.”

 

In a tweet on Friday, former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had asked the Home Ministry and Rajnath Singh to “have this investigated urgently and bring the guilty to book”.

The siblings had earlier told the SHO that the allegations against them are “fabricated, concocted and false”. “They (FOA) are making this into an issue over dog menace, but this is racial profiling we have been subjected to for years,” said the brother of the 40-year-old who was assaulted. DCP (southeast), meanwhile, said an FIR has also been lodged against the siblings based on a complaint by the residents.

 

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