Silence is no answer to brutality

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The target killings of civilians, particularly those belonging to the minority communities, have left people in Kashmir shell-shocked. A day after a prominent pharmacist, Makhan Lal Bindroo besides a roadside vendor (Hindu) from Bihar and a cab driver (Muslim) from Naidkhai were killed, two teachers on Thursday fell victim to the bullets of the killers in Eidgah area of Srinagar.  These killings seem aimed at scaring the minority community out of Kashmir. Bindroo’s was one among so many Kashmiri Pandit families who didn’t migrate during 90’s. How unfortunate is this that when things seem normalizing here, Bindroo was killed. The killings have created a sense of insecurity all over particularly among the people belonging to the minority communities. Targeting business people, road-side vendors, teachers and other unarmed civilians is the worst form of terrorism. The UT government can’t shun away its responsibility of crushing such terrorism. It is the government and its security agencies that are duty bound to protect the lives of the citizens. In 1990, then government failed to do so and Kashmir witnessed the history’s worst exodus as Kashmiri Pandits fled the Valley to save their lives. Reports coming in from different parts of Kashmir suggest that those Pandits, who over the years had returned to Kashmir, are scared and are packing to leave once again. It is duty of the government to rebuild a sense of security among these people and not allow repeat of 1990. Official condemnations and big talks about dealing with the killers alone won’t do. The security apparatus is to be activated and the killers are to be caught.

That said, the onus also lies on the members of majority community in the Valley to stand, shoulder to shoulder, with the members of minority communities be those Pandits, Sikhs, non local labourers etc. Those involved in the killings are doing so in the name of religion and some kind of Azadi. Kashmiris Muslims have to rise to the occasion. Silence is no answer to this brutality. Majority community has to publicly disown these killers and stand with the people of minority communities. No matter what the government would do to instill sense of security among the minorities, this can’t happen unless the people from majority community reach out to the minorities and extend their unconditional support to them. Those behind these killings are in no way friends of Kashmiris, be those Muslims or from the minority communities. These killers are enemies of one and all and the people here, irrespective of religious affiliation, will have to stand up against these killers in unison. They are not only bringing bad name to the Kashmir’s majority community but are also defaming the religion Islam wherein there is no scope to target unarmed civilians.

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