Rohit Goja of MyNation spoke to advocate Ankur Sharma, who alleged that the rights of religious and linguistic minorities in Kashmir are no longer secure due to an extension of benefits to unqualified sections of the population. In an exclusive interview, he shares his ideology and reveals the ongoing problems faced by the Hindu minority in Kashmir
The defence lawyer of the accused in the Kathua rape case, Ankur Sharma, is a controversial figure in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sharma is also behind the agitations against the settlement of Rohingyas in the Valley and alleged negligence of the Hindu-majority area of the State. Further, he has started a Jammu campaign, inviting all ‘patriotic’ Jammu citizens to join it. Sharma says, for Hindus, it is a struggle for survival.
Question: Jammu is majorly a Hindu belt; do you still feel Hindus are in minority now?
Answer: In terms of 2005 Supreme Court Judgment (TMA Pai Case), it has been ruled that State shall form the basic unit for minority identification. It’s neither region nor province. State taken as a whole, Hindus do form a religious minority in J&K (see 2011 census). Most importantly, Muslims by no means qualify as minority in J&K. It is ironical that the State is illegally conferring all minority benefits upon them.
Question: What made you campaign for them? Why has it been so important to you?
Answer: Minority rights are Fundamental Rights (see Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India). State cannot deny Fundamental Rights to its citizens. Minority rights form the bedrock of Secularism. When I saw state acting communally and denying fundamental rights to its citizens, motivated by the force of Constitutionalism, I decided to approach the Supreme Court and started campaigning against it. Supreme Court also appreciated my arguments and finally ruled in our favour. Even the State government was forced to recognise this violation in the Supreme Court. Despite the passage of a positive judgment, it’s disheartening to see that the state has till date not identified and notified its minorities.
Question: Please tell us about Rohingya immigrants settled in Jammu. What is your take on their deportation?
Answer: Rohingyas are illegal immigrants and under the law of the land, they are required to be deported immediately. As an interim measure that can be quarantined in Indian states neighbouring Myanmar. Every illegal immigrant is a security threat and the State should strictly deal with them under the law of the land.
Question: Do you see Rohingya settlement as part of an Islamist project?
Answer: In Jammu and Kashmir, we have a process in the force called State sponsored demographic invasion. Kashmir based political parties in league with separatist and anti-national forces through legislative and executive interventions have been spearheading demographic change in Jammu. The idea is to make Jammu a Muslim Majority area. Illegal immigrants who happen to be Muslims act as natural allies for them against Jammu. Therefore, we see Government issuing them State subject certificates, Ration Cards, Aadhar cards, electricity connections etc. State also allowed them to occupy state lands. In this backlight, I have no hesitation in saying that settlement of Rohingyas in Jammu is an Islamo Fascist Act.
Question: Mehbooba Mufti passed orders for the protection of Gujjar tribals. Did it benefit the tribal community in the valley?
Answer: It was a secret order which even its ally I.e. BJP was unaware of. The order provided legal immunity to the Muslim Tribals to occupy Forest, State and Private Lands in Hindu dominated areas. Authorities were clearly instructed to not take any action against these Muslim Tribals. IGP and SSPs were directed to not provide any police assistance for their eviction even if there is a court order to that effect. Along with this, legal immunity had been given to Muslims Tribals to carry out cow slaughter and bovine smuggling. Police had been instructed not to register cases against them for any of these offences. However, this order didn’t benefit Gujjars as it was Mehbooba’s ploy to create communal disharmony and friction among Hindus and Muslims in Jammu.
Question: What made you campaign against their settlement in areas outside Jammu?
Answer: I didn’t campaign against their natural settlements. I campaigned against their State-sponsored and State-engineered land grab in Hindu dominated areas. I campaigned against them becoming a political tool in the hands of Islamo fascists in furthering their communal agenda of bringing demographic change in Jammu.
Question: What do you think about the Kashmiri leadership?
Answer: Mainstream political parties are a political expression of separatism. Their leaders are communally motivated. I see no difference amongst mainstream political parties of Kashmir, separatists of Kashmir and terrorists fighting for the independence of Kashmir. In fact, these mainstream political parties are the most dangerous. They have subverted Indian democracy to an extent where the State of J&K has itself become communal and anti-national.
Question: The demand of separate State for Jammu region is increasing, how do you see it?
Answer: I am more concerned about delimitation and impartial census. If this is done, Jammu will rule J&K. Then there will be no question of a separate Jammu state.
Question: Whatever is happening in Kashmir, do you think that Jammu is being held hostage for it, in terms of development and other things?
Answer: State in J&K has been taken over by Communal elements. In the past decades, they have successfully planted policies and individuals in the state apparatus which has totally made the state anti-Jammu, anti-Ladakh and also anti-India. Consequentially, Jammu is suffering at all fronts. People of Jammu are humiliated day in and day out. Kashmir has become carcinogenic and needs surgery and chemotherapy. Since no remedial measure is taken, Jammu is suffering in this cancerous situation.
Question: Do you think this is the time for bringing a Hindu Chief Minister from Jammu?
Answer: Kashmiri leadership has always failed the test of Secularism in the state. They have converted the secular state of J&K into a theocratic and theological state of J&K. Hindu Chief Minister will become reality post delimitation but if Kashmiris have to pass the test of Secularism, they should agree to have a Hindu Chief Minister from Jammu. In the last BJP-PDP dispensation, this could have been done. But again, the theological and fascist agenda prevailed.
Question: Tell us about Kathua case (Rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl). Why are you against the investigation done by Jammu and Kashmir crime branch?
Answer: I’m against it because Mehbooba Mufti used Crime Branch and this case to attain her political motives, which created a rift between Hindus and Muslims who had been living very peacefully here. We saw a tainted police officer specially brought in the SIT to investigate such a sensitive case. She had liked her nose into it and had given this case a selective direction. We wanted a fair enquiry. Given her lust for damaging Jammu from within by dividing society on communal grounds, we wanted the CBI to investigate the case. CBI would have been independent of Mufti, and only a fair and impartial enquiry would have ensured justice for the little girl.
Last Updated 5:22 PM IST