Srinagar: Sikhs in the Kashmir Valley have received anonymous letters from Islamic militants asking them to either embrace Islam and join the protests against civilian killings or pack up and leave the Valley. The 60,000-strong Sikh community is the single largest minority group in the Valley, says a Times of India report.
An organisation of Kashmiri Sikhs said that several community members have received these letters. "Community members have received unsigned letters at various places," said All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (ASCC) coordinator Jagmohan Singh Raina. He said the community has decided to stay put and fight these "evil designs" at a meeting in Srinagar on Thursday.
Raina quoted a letter as saying: "When you are enjoying the joys here, why can't you share the grief and sorrow of Kashmiris as well? We know you are afraid of bullets... Hold protests inside gurdwaras or leave Kashmir." He added, "Some letters have asked Sikhs to embrace Islam."
Raina urged both factions of the Hurriyat, JKLF and PoK-based United Jihad Council to take serious note of the threats to maintain amity and brotherhood in the Valley.
Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has reassured the Sikhs saying they shouldn't feel threatened and should ignore the "fake letters". He assured the community that nobody would force them to join the protests.
Earlier, Geelani has made an emotional appeal against forcing minorities to join the protests and said harming them would be like "inflicting a wound on his (Geelani's) body".
The state unit of Akali Dal (Badal) president Ajeet Singh Mastana described the threats as acts by anti-social elements. "The threats can't break us and reduce our love for our motherland," he said.