Even as tension prevailed overnight in the south Kashmir district of Pulwama, authorities successfully resolved the issue involving an alleged incident of stone pelting on a camp of rehabilitated Kashmiri Pandit employees at Hall, on the Srinagar-Shopian road on Tuesday.
After the camp residents raised alarm over the incident, senior government functionaries rushed to Hall and returned only after resolving the crisis.
The 65 quarters in the camp were allotted to Kashmiri Pandits, who have been absorbed in the State government service after a special recruitment drive under the Prime Minister’s 2010-11 initiative for the community. A contractual obligation makes it mandatory for these employees to remain posted in Kashmir Valley without seeking inter-district transfer until their retirement.
Deputy Commissioner of Pulwama Manzoor Ahmad Lone said he visited some Pandit families on Monday afternoon. “While we were returning to Pulwama, we observed some encroachments of the State land and fresh illegal constructions by the members of the majority community in close vicinity of the colony. We called a demolition squad and dismantled some structures,” Mr. Lone said.
Minutes after the DC’s team returned, some of the residents gathered and began pelting stones. Some of them, according to the police reports, suspected that the Pandits had complained and persuaded the authorities to demolish newly-raised structures.
“We have reports that a few youngsters pelted a couple of stones at the minority members’ quarters. It resulted in panic and they called police and security forces, though they were already present there permanently for their protection. We visited the camp today and resolved the tension,” Superintendent of Police Pulwama Amit Kumar said.
Both Mr. Lone and Mr. Kumar asserted that local representatives of the majority community had already reached the camp last evening, assured the residents regarding security and spent the whole night with them.
“The role of the local majority community in restoring a sense of brotherhood, communal harmony and total security was highly reassuring. They had in fact resolved the crisis before our arrival”, Commissioner-Secretary Revenue and Relief Vinod Kaul told The Hindu. Mr. Kumar confirmed further that even the Pandits did not level any allegations against the resident members of the majority community.