On Tuesday when media persons converged at his residence to know under what circumstances the violence was triggered and why he failed to contain the violence in time Kitchloo said, “it is a routine exercise for the local villagers in Kishtwar to offer Eid prayers in Chowgam on special occasions”.
He said on August 9 also large number of them from nearby areas arrived there and those coming via Kulheed came there in big procession. He said like previous years they would have gone straight to the Chowgam via main road but I am also surprised why this year they chose to come via Kulheed mohalla where large number of members of the minorty community live.
It may be mentioned that the members of the minority community had alleged that the attack on them was preplanned as large number of members of the majority community present in the procession were armed with sharp edged weapons and other weapons.
Soon after the Eid prayers were over the stone pelting picked up and in no time the kishtwar was on fire as majoirty of shops belonging to the members o f the minority community were looted and burnt down. Defending his action during the time violence was going on in the Kishtwar Kitchloo maintained that had he not taken certain swift action the death toll could have been far greater. Large number of people would have died due to stampede, he said.
He claimed he was honest and had not engineered any attack.
He said, “if proven guilty i would leave politics and Kishtwar for good”.
He also contradicted statement of the Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the Lok Sabha on Monday by claiming that the members of the procession were shouting religious slogans and not pro Azadi and Anti India slogans.
He said for last 22 posters have been pasted on the walls no one here in Kishtwar pay any attention to these posters and slogans, they have no meaning. In response to a question whether DC and SP were made scapegoat Kitchloo said I was also made scapegoat in the case as I had to resign after DC and SP were shunted out of Kishtwar.
Attacking BJP leadership once again Sajjad Kitchloo claimed that in 2002 they could not call out army in four days and here in Kishtwar when only four hours were delayed in positioning army on ground zero they have started criticising us. He said those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others.Pending Judicial probe in the incident I have resigned from my post but till date no one responsible for 2002 Gujarat riots had resigned.