Sameer Showkin Lone
Srinagar: Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) chief and MLA Langate Er Rasheed Friday began his 48-hour sit-in just outside the residence of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti here to register his protest against issuance of domicile certificates to West Pakistan refugees.
He passed the night under open sky amid the bone chilling cold at Gupkar on the banks of Dal Lake, which also freezes in these intense cold days.
After passing his first night as a mark of protest, Er Rashid Saturday morning took to Facebook and had this message for the people:
“Aslamualykum to everyone. Hope you all had a good night with sweat dreams. It was an unforgettable experience to spend night with my colleagues at Dal lake’s banks to remind Mehbooba Ji of some thing. I know it may not change much but still can’t cheat my conscience . Please pray if possible that we defeat the stormy night again when we will end our 48-hour sit-in tomorrow on Sunday at 11 am. Stay all blessed.”
Rasheed arrived on Friday in an auto rickshaw and sat on the footpath opposite the main entrance of CM’s Gupkar residence here along with other party activists.
Carrying placards with messages “Refugees are Refugees. Deport them back to Pakistan” and “Issuing domicile to West Pakistan refugees unacceptable.”
His supporters arranged some blankets and covered Rasheed to beat the cold which is below minus 6.
“We are protesting against the government’s reported move to issue domicile certificates to West Pakistan refugees,” he said. “Instead of issuing domicile certificates to WPRs, the government must deport the refugees to Pakistan,” he added.
“My protest is based on the facts and history of J&K. The government is playing communal card and making attempts to change the demography of J&K state. Rohingya Muslims are forcefully deported. Anyone providing them food or shelter on humanitarian grounds is arrested and case is being registered against them. Same law must be made applicable against those found involved in West Pakistan refugees,” he said.