BJP seeks Hindus' safety in Kashmir
Jammu, June 7 (IANS) Nearly 2,000 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists courted arrest Wednesday as the party kicked off a week-long campaign seeking protection of Hindus in Jammu region.
The activists, mainly from Jammu and led by former BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu, marched from Parade Ground to the Civil Secretariat and offered themselves for arrest.
They raised slogans such as "Bharat Mata ki jai" and demanded an end to the continuing killings of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir.
The police, however, said they had made no arrests. "The BJP activists did not violate any rules except cause a traffic jam," a police officer said. But party leaders insisted that they had courted arrest.
BJP leaders alleged that both the Jammu and Kashmir and the central governments had failed to protect Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir from Muslim separatists.
"The governments are hard on nationalists and soft on terrorists. Unless these trends are reversed, our agitation will continue," Naidu said.
"The killing of Hindus in Doda, Udhampur, Rajouri and Poonch areas were the replay of the ethnic cleaning that the terrorists successfully experimented in the Kashmir Valley in early 1990s," he said.
"But we will not allow this to happen in Jammu," he added.
Among the protestors were BJP members from Kerala and Rajasthan. This, a party spokesman said, was aimed at giving out the message that the issue had generated passions across the country.
The immediate provocation for the demonstration was the massacre of 35 Hindus in Doda and Udhampur districts April 30/May 1.