Were Sikh Families Attacked by 300 Kashmiri Pandits in Srinagar?

CLAIM

A video shared widely on social media with a claim that “Sikh families were brutally attacked by 300 Kashmiri Pandits in Srinagar, using stones and lathis, forcing them out of the migrant apartment allotted to them.”

The text accompanying the video shared on Twitter and Facebook also mentions that these families had an “order from the high court” despite which they were forced out.

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DID THE INCIDENT HAPPEN AT ALL?

The incident happened in Budgam's Sheikhpora on the eve of Eid, 4 June. These Sikh families tried to enter the under-construction houses meant for government employees. According to the Sikh families they had an order from the court while the police says that they were not aware of any such order.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

The Quint got in touch with one of the members of the Sikh families who had entered the flats on 4 June and on condition of anonymity he told us that the Sikh families have not been allotted houses under the Centre’s rehabilitation package.

He also said that the families had an order from court the but they were still forced out of the flats.

Regretting that the Sikh families had forcibly entered the houses, he said that the Kashmiri Pandits living in the area too had encroached upon the houses. He added that the Sikh families are not proud of what they have done but they had to do it as no flats have been allotted to them till date.

He said that more than 390 Kashmiri Pandit families are living in Sheikhpora while very few flats have been given to the Sikhs.

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He also said that the police, who according to him could have been called by the Kashmiri Pandit families, resorted to the use of force.

“A mob of nearly 300 people started shouting and stone pelting. We even told us that we have the documents and we are ready to talk, but they don't like us,” he said.

THE POLICE OFFERS A DIFFERENT VERSION

The Quint also got in touch with the Jammu and Kashmir Police who told us that the Sikh families were forcibly trying to encroach upon the property and in turn the police had to apply some force to remove them from the property.

However, according to the police, the force applied was proportionate and they were not thrashed as claimed.

On being asked about the HC order which the viral message mentions, the police officer said that they are not aware of any such order and the Sikh families didn't show it to them.

Speaking to The Quint, the locals living in the area said that the Sikh families forcibly entered the flats and they didn't have any court order. They alleged that their modus operandi was to occupy the house and later get the orders from the HC.

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