Fear grips Sikhs after they get threats to leave Kashmir valley

published on August 17, 2011

Panic has gripped the Sikh community in Kashmir after the anonymous threatening letters were circulated in Rawalpora village of Kupwara district asking the Sikhs to leave the valley within five days.

The letters were circulated after a Sikh girl was selected as teacher under Rehbar-e-Taleem scheme in the village which had irked some people leading to the tension in the area.

“The girl was selected on merit but some people of the majority community were not happy. Later five letters were dropped at five households asking Sikhs to leave the valley within five days. It created a panic among the community at large since Jammu and Kashmir is a very sensitive state”, said Jagmohan Singh Raina, president All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee.

There are around 80,000 Sikhs living in 121 villages spread in eight districts of Kashmir valley. Sikhs and Muslims have traditionally lived in harmony in the Kashmir valley. Despite the massacre of 34 Sikhs in Chattisinghpora village of Anantnag district on March, 20 2000, the Sikhs did not migrate from Kashmir unlike Kashmiri pandits.

During the last year unrest similar anonymous letters were circulated among Sikhs in different villages and cities asking them to join the protests or leave the valley. This had triggered a chain reaction with fear engulfing the small Sikh community of the valley.

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