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Pandits in north, south, central Kashmir stage protests

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Question Govt’s inability to protect lives; ask Div Com, can he ensure none of them is killed further

Budgam/Pulwama/Baramulla: Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits, residing in several migrant colonies in north, south and central Kashmir, took to streets protesting the killing of a government employee from the community in Chadoora today.

Rahul Bhat, an employee in Tehsil office Chadoora, was shot at in his office today. He was rushed to hospital but succumbed to his injuries.

Following the murder, members of Kashmiri Pandit community hit roads at various places across Kashmir to register their protest.

The protestors also blocked the Srinagar-Jammu highway outside Vessu migrant KP colony, Qazigund in Anantnag district to protest against the killings.

Hundreds of Pandits assembled at Sheikhpora in Budgam, where the killed government employee was residing, and staged a sit-in blocking the road.

“Is this the rehabilitation BJP has promised us? We don’t want this rehabilitation. Police must nab the killers of Rahul. We also want to know why militants are killing us,” a woman protester was seen yelling at Sheikhpora as people tried to console her.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar visited Sheikhpora, Budgam to express solidarity and sympathy with the fellow colleagues of the slain employee. However, the protestors insisted him to bring Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to the spot.

“Why are these killings taking place? Who are Kashmir Tigers, and why are they killing us,” a woman protester asked the Kashmir police chief. “If they want to kill us, why don’t they kill us all in one go.”

The protests were going on when this report was being filed.

Another protestor said that the BJP government has miserably failed to protect the migrant KPs brought back in the name of the rehabilitation package of PM.

Later Div Com also visited the spot and faced the wrath of protesters.

“It took you six hours to reach to us, can you assure that no Kashmiri Pandit will be killed in future,” questioned an agitating Pandit youth to Div Com.

Many protestors alleged that the killing of Rahul Bhat at Tehsil office Chadoora, was a major security lapse. “How come militants managed to enter the Tehsil office and kill Rahul,” they questioned.

Another massive protest was held along the Pulwama-Shopian highway outside KP migrant colony Nikas. “Fail Hai, Fail Hai, administration fail Hai” slogans were raised by the protestors.

Hours after an employee of the minority Kashmiri Pandit community was killed inside Tehsildar office at Chadoora, Kashmir Pandit employees at Weervan colony, Baramulla staged strong protest demonstration on Baramulla-Uri highway.

Scores of Kashmiri Pandit employees staged a sit-in on Baramulla-Uri highway at Weervan Colony demanding identification of the killers and justice to the victim’s family.

“We want justice”, “Jis Kashmir Ko Khoon Se Sencha Who Kashmir Humara Hai”, were the slogans raised by the protesting minority community employees who were joined by the females as well.

“We are being killed day in and day out. Let them kill us all at once. We don’t want to work in panic and fear, let the government ensure our safety and security,” said a protesting employee Anita Dhar.

Later, Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Dr. Sehrish Asgar, SSP Baramulla Rayees Ahmad Bhat and others on the spot and pacified the protestors.

A Kashmiri Pandit woman confronts an official (not in the pic) during a protest at Sheikhpora in Budgam. Photo/Javed Khan

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