Members of the minority business community in Kishtwar have threatened to move out of the area unless the state government took steps to provide security and pay compensation to them following the communal clashes which broke out in the town on the day of Eid.
“We want security and licenced weapons. The government should also compensate us for our losses in the arson on Friday,” said Rakesh Gupta,president of the Kishtwar Chamber of Commerce.
Gupta alleged that members of the minority business community had incurred losses of a total Rs 80 crore in the clashes.
“If the government fails to fulfil our demands,we will migrate away from Kishtwar. We have been facing such attacks repeatedly,” said Gupta,who lost his garment showroom in the arson.
“Such clashes is not a new thing for us. We have faced such cases in 1993,1998,2003 and 2008,but they were of a lesser magnitude,” he said.
Over 150 small and big business establishments were affected in the clashes,he said.
“But the government will pay compensation of a few lakhs only and that is it,” Gupta said.
A total of 68 shops,seven hotels and 35 vehicles were damaged in the violence which also led to three casualties,Jammu Divisional Commissioner Shantmanu had said.
“I have lost my entire business in a fire triggered by miscreants. Its value was over Rs 20 lakh and it was my livelihood,” said Khushi Ram Shan,whose two shops dealing with plywood retail and hardware was burnt down on Friday.
Vijay Kumar Parihar,who had recently obtained a loan to set up an eatery was cursing himself for having opened a business in Kishtwar. “My shop was set on fire and my dream project is no more”,he said.
Meanwhile,Principal Secretary (Home) Suresh Kumar told reporters here last night that there was “no threat of migration”.
“We will take confidence building measures and provide security wherever needed,” Kumar had said.