With the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir observing Black Day, Baldev Singh Raina, the Chairman of All Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee-Kashmir, has thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for understanding the significance of the day when Pakistan-backed tribal invaders crossed into Kashmir in 1947 and urged the Centre to provide special status for the Sikh community as well as ensure their rehabilitation to the Union Territory.
Recounting the attack by Pakistan-backed tribal invaders on October 22, 1947, Raina said: “Yes, these tribals came to India on the instructions of ISI (Pakistan intelligence agency) and killed innocent people. Our mothers and sisters died by suicide to save themselves and we have to open many posts across India to save from these attacks.”
Noting that the Sikhs played a pivotal role in the battle, Raina said: “Yes we fought against these tribals and open posts in Rafiabad, Baramulla, Badgaum, Atna and Srinagar and we fought seven days before the army could reach. Sikhs lost 47,000 lives in the battle.”
“We are thankful to Narendra Modi and Manoj Sinha for understanding the significance of this. Pakistan has been fomenting terrorism in India from so many years and now they are exposed before the whole world. They are struggling to come out of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) grey list and if they don’t mend they will be on the black list of FATF soon,” he said.
He was speaking at the two days ‘National Symposium’ organised by National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology in collaboration with the Union Territory Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
On October 22, 1947, Pakistan invaded Kashmir and brought in its wake horrifying stories of mass plunder and vandalism.
Thousands of men, women and children were killed while the raiders carried out a siege of the then bustling town of Baramulla.
Raina listed his demand for the Sikh community including Sikhs should be rehabilitated in Kashmir with jobs and they be declared as minority community with special status.
“Government is doing an excellent job and we want Sikhs to be declared as a minority community with special status. We want Govt to declare Mattan Singh Sahib Gurudwara whereto be declared as National Heritage because Baba Guru Nanak Dev stayed here for 13 days and our Sikhs should be rehabilitated in Kashmir with jobs. Kashmir is only because of Sikhs and govt will be helping Sikhs by doing these two things,” he said.
“Kashmir is crown of India and it will remain. We all Kashmiris have fought well and with new developments, we are optimistic that things will improve soon. Kashmir is an international tourist destination and it will always remain that. This black day should not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in the entire country,” he added.