People of the Gujjar-Bakharwal community, led by former Minister Abdul Gani Kohli staged an anti-Pakistan protest on Wednesday against the killing of two members of the community by Pakistan backed terrorists in Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370. Several BJP leaders belonging to the Gujjar community, including state vice president Ghulam Ali Khatana, also joined the protest outside the party headquarters and raised anti-Pakistan slogans. Residing in Kashmir, Gujjars and Bakerwals are one tribe popularly known as Gurjar or Gurjars.
"The murder of two innocent persons by Pakistan-backed terrorists is unbearable. The Gujjar community will not be cowed down by such acts as we are nationalists by core and ready to sacrifice our lives for our nation," Kohli said.
Describing the killing of two Gujjars as the "murder of humanity and an anti-Islamic act", Khatana expressed hope that the killers will be identified and appropriate action will be taken against them.
"The BJP stands with the bereaved families at this hour of grief," he said, assuring all help to the families of the deceased persons.
"We appeal that the community members living in inhospitable and far flung area of the state be given weapons like village defence committee (VDC) members to safeguard themselves from the terrorists and anti-national elements," he added
Bullet-riddled bodies of the two nomads -- Abdul Qadir Kohli and his cousin Manzoor Ahmad Kohli -- were recovered on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, after they were abducted by terrorists from the higher reaches of Tral in South Kashmir on the intervening night of August 18 and 19. The was recovered by a search and rescue party, while an operation to trace the other person is underway.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan. India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.
Subsequent to the abrogation of Article 370 from the Indian constitution, Jammu and Kashmir was put under a communication lockdown over security concerns and mainstream Opposition leaders like PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, NC leader Omar Abdullah, JKPC president Sajad Lone were put on house arrest.
(With PTI inputs)