Updated: October 15, 2015 3:06:34 am
Families of Kashmiri truck drivers who were attacked on Srinagar-Jammu national highway at Udhampur last week said they have returned the money given by the government for treatment of their injured sons in protest.
They alleged that the state government had failed to arrest the “kingpin of the gang” behind the attack. Accompanied by Independent MLA Sheikh Rashid, the families also said “the government had insulted” them by claiming that they have provided lakhs in compensation.
Rashid said the government has given only a few thousand rupees and arranged an air ticket for one family member to travel to New Delhi, where his son his being treated.
“It is sad. The government officials are giving it such publicity as if we are beggars. Our only demand is that the kingpin of this attack be nabbed.”
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“It is a miracle my son and his colleagues are alive; the RSS goons had used every tactic to kill them. They tried to burn them alive,’’ said Ghulam Rasool, whose son Zahid Ahmad received 70 per cent burns in the attack.
“The men affiliated with RSS hurled petrol bombs on the truck and police did nothing for hours to save them,’’ he said.
Ghulam Rasool said on Tuesday he tried to meet J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in Anantnag where the CM was on an official tour.
“I just wanted to convey to him that the people who tried to kill my son and his accomplices should be punished and arrested but we were humiliated instead,” he added.
Ghulam Mohammad Dar, whose son Showkat Ahmad received 40 per cent burns in the attack, said the DC and Tehsildar of Anantnag threatened to book them under Public Safety Act. “The officials were angry that we tried to stop the CM’s cavalcade. Our children are fighting for their lives and officials are threatening us,” he said, adding that they have already returned the money the government gave them. “We will not accept cheques.’’
MLA Rashid said he had decided to bear all the treatment expenses “after seeing the government’s attitude.”
“I am leaving for Delhi along with family members of the injured,” he said.
He added that in Kashmir if any person is involved in any violence, he is nabbed within hours. “But in this case the government has turned a blind eye,’’ he said.
Anantnag DC Muneer-ul-Islam denied that he or any of his officials threatened the families.
“Why should we book them? The government has arranged air tickets for the victims’ family members. All expenses are being borne by the government,’’ he said, adding that the families are annoyed as they wanted compensation in cash.
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