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Communalism threat looms over Jammu, cautions New Delhi Group

In their latest report on J&K the “Concerned Citizens’ Group” (CCG) has cautioned that Jammu has been threatened by communalism and the situation in the region was likely to become difficult to handle in the coming days.
“The growing disappointment with the state government and increasing communal divide could make the situation in Jammu quite provocative. The Kashmir has been on the boil off and on but the Jammu region becoming politically volatile is a new phenomenon,” reads the report that was prepared by the group following their visit to the Jammu and Kashmir last week.
According to the report the religious divide in the state has “clearly deepened” in recent years as “communalism has taken deep roots”.
The report said that the communal divide in Jammu was being promoted by “politically ambitious leaders who are intent on tearing apart the rich and diverse social fabric of the region for their short-term political benefits”.
Some prominent citizens, according to the report, however, lamented the fact that local civil society organisations had not countered the communal narrative surrounding Asifa’s rape and murder.
“Others said that there is no civil society in Jammu and that the space for civil society’s activities had been taken over by communal politicians,” said the report.
The 12-page report also talks about the recent rape and murder of an eight-year old Gujjar girl in Kathua district of Jammu in January this year, saying it flagged the rise in communalism in Jammu.
“The brutal rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua was an attempt apparently to frighten and evict the nomadic Bakkarwals from the land they occupied. Some local leaders of the BJP along with an outfit called Hindu Ekta Manch have taken out public rallies with tricolour in hand shouting slogans which suggest that members of a particular community are pro-Pakistan and need to be dealt with swiftly,” reads the report.

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