Other States

Fresh wave of fear hits Kashmir

Kashmiri Pandits shout slogans as they block the Srinagar-Jammu road during a protest against the killing of a teacher at Gopalpora area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam in Qazigund on May 31, 2022.

Kashmiri Pandits shout slogans as they block the Srinagar-Jammu road during a protest against the killing of a teacher at Gopalpora area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam in Qazigund on May 31, 2022. | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

A woman teacher’s killing has sparked a fresh wave of fears among the migrant Kashmiri Pandit employees, recruited under the Prime Minister’s special rehabilitation package, and the Hindu employees from Jammu recruited under the SC quota and posted in the Valley.

“The administration is more bothered about Kashmiri Pandits employees selected under the PM package but not the Hindu employees selected under the SC quota. I was posted in the Valley 2007 and since then no transfer policy has been drafted for the SC employees. We are left to get killed in the Valley,” a Hindu employee, posted in Kulgam, said.

Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits blocked highways in Kulgam and Srinagar to press the demand for relocation from the Valley. They shouted anti-Lieutenant Governor (LG) slogans and demanded justice.

“We met the LG a few days ago and demanded our relocation from the Kashmir Valley. Even the Inspector General of Police said on record it will take two to three years to wipe out terrorism in Kashmir. The LG administration should shift us till then. We should not be left behind to die,” a Pandit, who participated in a protest in Srinagar’s Shivpora, said.

Scores of protesting Pandits threatened to go on a mass migration in case the government fails to transfer them outside the Valley.

“The administration is threatening us to hold our salaries if we leave the station. They are forcing us to rejoin offices in the Valley. We should not be sacrificed so cheaply,” another Pandit protester said.

Marching on the roads in the Valley, Kashmiri Pandits shouted slogans like “Only solution, relocation”.

Lieutenant-Governor Manoj Sinha and top leaders of parties in unison condemned the schoolteacher’s killing. Mr. Sinha said the terrorists and their sympathisers would be given unforgettable response for the dastardly attack.

National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said, “This is yet another targeted killing in a long list of recent attacks directed at unarmed civilians. Words of condemnation and condolence ring hollow as do the assurances of the government that they will not rest till the situation normalises”. Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said, “Despite GOIs (Government of India) fake claims about Kashmir being normal it’s obvious that targeted civilian killings are on the rise and a deep cause of concern. Condemn this act of cowardice which sadly plays into the vicious anti-Muslim narrative spun by the BJP.”

CPI(M) leader M.Y. Tarigami said there seemed to be no end to the bloodletting. “The incident is tragic and unfortunate. The administration must post these employees in safer places and provide them secure accommodation,” he stated.

Peoples Conference (PC) chief Sajad Lone said, “Cowardice has yet again plummeted to shameless depths.A teacher- an innocent female hailing from Samba has been shot dead in Kulgam.May her soul rest in peace.”

BJP State president Ravinder Raina said Pakistani terrorists were behind the “inhuman and ugly” act of killing. “The way the killers of Rahul Bhat and Amreen were brought to justice, these killers will also be neutralised soon, even if they try to hide. These Pakistanis will not be spared,” he remarked.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2022 12:28:09 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/schoolteachers-killing-fresh-wave-of-fear-hits-kashmir/article65480145.ece