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Wary of targeted killings, Dogras, Kashmiri Pandits seek relocation

Several employees, along with their families, have already reached here after fleeing Kashmir. They have decided to return only after normalcy is restored in the Valley, they said. Dogra employees of Jammu and Kashmiri Pandits say they are preparing to migrate from the Valley as they did in 1990 when terrorism broke out in Kashmir.

SNS | Jammu |

The Dogra Hindu employees of Jammu have joined hands with Kashmiri Pandits to press for their demand for relocation outside the Kashmir Valley where the continuing cycle of targeted killings has instilled fear among the minority communities.

Several employees, along with their families, have already reached here after fleeing Kashmir. They have decided to return only after normalcy is restored in the Valley, they said. Dogra employees of Jammu and Kashmiri Pandits say they are preparing to migrate from the Valley as they did in 1990 when terrorism broke out in Kashmir.

There are around 3,800 migrant Kashmiri Pandit employees recruited under the Prime Minister’s special rehabilitation package and hundreds of Dogra Hindu employees from Jammu recruited under the Scheduled Caste (SC) quota and posted at different places in Kashmir. The Dogra employees were posted in Kashmir way back in 2009, but feel the situation has never been as bad as it is today.

In a bid to prevent migration, the administration has virtually sealed the transit camps where employees belonging to minority communities were put up. The UT government headed by Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha established a special cell to resolve their grievances but failed to reassure them of their safety.

“The government only gives us false assurances and we can’t take these anymore,” they said.

A bank manager from Rajasthan has been shot dead in the same district on Thursday, just day after a female teacher from Samba district of Jammu recruited under SC quota was done away with by terrorists in Kulgam in a similar manner.

Kashmiri Pandit employees are staging protests since May 13 after an employee of their community, Rahul Bhatt, was shot dead in Budgam district. Not only Hindus but also several civilians Kashmiri Muslim,  policemen and labourers from UP, Bihar and West Bengal have fell prey to terrorists’ bullets in the past.

In a joint statement, Ankur Sharma, President Ikkjutt Jammu and Ajay Chrungoo, Chairman Panun Kashmir, urged the government to immediately shift the Hindu employees to Jammu from Kashmir. Expressing concern over the targeted killings in Kashmir, National Conference president and the Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah said that the government has to find a way through which it can win the hearts of people in J&K.

Abdullah said even after so many killings the Central government is still claiming that there is peace in Kashmir. “How much peace and order is there is determined by the current situation only,” he said.

He further said, “The center government should find such a way through which they can win people’s hearts and we can come out of this problem. It will have to talk to all political parties of J&K about finding ways and means to overcome the problem as everything can’t be done by Army and police.”

Accusing the BJP government of failing to ensure the safety and security of common people in Kashmir, JKPCC Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Sharma called for urgent and effective measures to save innocent lives. How long the nation should tolerate the targeted killing of innocent, especially minorities in the Valley, contrary to the claims of normalcy by the central government and UT administration, asked the party.

Defending his party, J&K BJP chief Ravinder Raina attributed the killings to the frustration of Pakistan and its ISI over the massive development projects launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kashmir. He described the targeted killings as a conspiracy of Pakistan to derail peace process in Kashmir by instilling fear among the minorities.