Are Muslims of troubled Kashmir treated unfairly by Indians?
Parvez Rasool, a Kashmiri cricketer, was briefly detained in Bangalore on suspicion of carrying explosives, an incident which triggered anger in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir valley.
This is not an isolated case.
Delhi University lecturer S.A.R. Geelani, a Kashmiri, was even awarded the death sentence in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack case, but was later released.
Are Kashmiri Muslims, weary of decades of violence, treated unfairly by Indian authorities in different parts of the country?
The Kashmiri cricketer’s detention did not go down well in the strife-torn region, where anti-India sentiment still runs deep.
Rasool’s detention comes at a time when New Delhi has decided to resume peace talks with the leadership of the Himalayan region aimed at ending over 60 years of dispute.
Kashmiri travellers and traders who talk of being harassed after militant violence in any part of India, say such incidents are pushing ordinary people further away from the Indian mainstream.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chief of Kashmir’s main separatist alliance All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, said he would be taking up the issue of Rasool’s detention during his talks with New Delhi.
Tens of thousands of people have died during 20 years of anti-India insurgency in Kashmir. The strife has left nothing untouched in the scenic region, once the heart of Sufi Islam in the subcontinent and home to an easy-going society.
Kashmir’s young chief minister, Omar Abdullah, said it is easy to see young Kashmiris as terrorists but urged New Delhi to handle the youth of his state carefully and help heal the wounds of violence.
Kashmiri sportsmen say these things humiliate people in Kashmir where violence between Indian troops and separatist militants has brought untold misery to the residents.
Does being a Muslim from Indian Kashmir invite suspicion in a predominantly Hindu country?