President of Jammu Bar Association B S Slathia has warned the government that the youth of Jammu who are carrying the Tricolour today can pick up AK-47s and bombs if the state does not listen to their demands.
Slathia is spearheading a civil society campaign against the J&K Police’s Crime Branch investigation into the rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomad girl in Kathua in January, seeking a CBI probe into the matter, demanding expulsion of Rohingya refugees and withdrawal of the CM’s instruction on restriction on eviction of nomad communities from government and forest land.
The bar has extended suspension of work till April 17 to press for the demands.
Addressing a rally in Jammu on Wednesday, Slathia said, “When Bhagat Singh ji while fighting the English realised that the British government wasn’t listening, he had to explode a bomb in the assembly to make them listen to him. Mehbooba ji, Farooq Abdullah sahib and his young child Omar ji, today there is a Tiranga in the hands of Jammu’s youth, tomorrow it can be AK-47 and bomb as well. Don’t force us to (take up arms),’’ he said.
“If Rohingya are not thrown out of here immediately, we will use every means to push them out of here,” he said, daring the government to act against them.
He said that those who had gathered with the Tricolour and shouting “Bharat mata ki jai” at the rally were not associated with any one group. “Without any politics, we are together. Here with us today is a sister from Panthers (Party), if we send her, she will claw at Mehbooba. This is one, do you know how many lions and lionesses we have, you (Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah) will not find a way to run away from here (Jammu),” he said.
Referring to the Amarnath land agitation in Jammu, he said, “I remember 2008. We didn’t let Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah come out of the airport for three hours. When a meeting was going on, we forced them to leave the meeting. We are the same people.”
When contacted by The Indian Express, Slathia said he was only giving an example from the freedom struggle. “At that time, as the then British government did not listen to revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Raj Guru, they threw a bomb in the assembly. Today there is a government elected by the people and it shall listen to them. I had also said that at the time, when Muslim United Front was formed, if they (government) had appreciated the aspirations of the people that time, Salahuddin (Hizbul Mujahideen chief) would have been in the J&K assembly and not in Pakistan,’’ he said.
Inputs from Arun Sharma in Jammu