Tathagata Roy
Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy. File image

Five days after the terror attack at Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir, Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy has sparked off a fresh controversy by making an appeal to the public to “boycott everything Kashmiri”.

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The BJP leader and right-wing Hindu ideologue on his Twitter handle on Tuesday said: “Don’t visit Kashmir, don’t go to Amarnath for the next 2 years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri.”

Tathagata Roy said, this appeal was made by a retired colonel of the Army and he was “inclined to agree with it”.

While there have been cases of Kashmiri people including students and businessmen being targeted across the country with media reports of some Indian students even demanding expulsion of their Kashmiri peers from universities, Roy’s ‘discriminatory’ comment is likely to create tension among the Kashmiris.

The comments by the constitutional head of a state have drawn sharp reactions from former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah.

Abdullah said: “People like Tathagata want Kashmir but without Kashmiris. They’d sooner see us driven in to the sea. He’ll be best placed to know he can’t have one without the other so what’s it to be?”

The former J&K CM questioned Roy: “These are the bigots driving Kashmir over the abyss. While you are at it Tathagata why don’t you stop using our rivers to generate your electricity as well?”

In another tweet, Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy  said: “The Pakistan Army (who are handling the Kashmiri separatists) was among their own in East Pakistan in 1971. They slaughtered and raped right and left. And they would have kept EP but for the whacking from India. I am not suggesting that we go that far. But at least some distance?”

Roy’s comments on his Twitter have drawn sharp reactions from former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah. He said, “These are the bigots driving Kashmir over the abyss. While you are at it, Tathagata why don’t you stop using our rivers to generate your electricity as well?”

Roy’s comment has come in the view of terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, where a CRPF convoy was attacked by terrorists killing at least 40 soldiers. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed that a local recruit targeted the CRPF convoy that was carrying more than 2,500 jawans from Jammu to Srinagar.

In his defence, Roy in another tweet said: “Vociferously violent reactions from media and several others to my ECHOING OF a suggestion from a retired army colonel. A purely NON-VIOLENT REACTION to the killing of our soldiers by the hundreds and the driving out of 3.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits.”

At a time when a section of people like Tathagata Roy are talking tough against Kashmiris, Indians from across the country have taken to social media to offer shelter to people from Kahmir after the terror attack, reports BBC.

It may be mentioned that 44 CRPF personnel died in a deadly terror attack at Pulwama in J&K on February 14, 2019.

Earlier also, Roy had made headlines for making controversial comments.

In a controversial comment on the Mumbai terror attacks, the Governor had said that the Muslims killed in the Mumbai terror attacks were “not innocent”.

He said: “10th anniversary today of Paki-sponsored slaughter of innocents (except Muslims) at Mumbai, popularly called 26/11. Does anyone remember why we didn’t even downgrade our diplomatic relations with the Pakis (let alone break off such relations or go to war)?”

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