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KP employees continue protests for day 6; IGP asks them to be patient, not leave Valley

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Div Com says their service related issues to be resolved in week’s time

Srinagar: Protests continued for the sixth day Tuesday in Kashmir over the killing of Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat, even as a top police official assured the protestors a permanent peace will return to the Valley soon as “security forces will eliminate all terrorists within one-and-a-half year”.

Kashmir Zone Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar also urged the protesters to be patient and “not get carried away by political parties”.

The Kashmiri Pandit employees, who had returned to the Valley under the Prime Minister’s Employment package for the migrants, held protests at various places including at migrant colony in Budgam and Anantnag.

Demanding justice for Bhat, they burnt the effigy symbolising the Jammu and Kashmir administration, and raised slogans against Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.

At the protest sites, the air resonated with the slogans such as “LG tum ek kaam karo, kursi chhodd aaraam karo (essentially asking the LG to resign)”, “administration down down” and “we want justice”.

“Tum kitne Rahul maroge, har ghar se Rahul niklega” (How many Rahuls will you kill, each house will produce a Rahul)” has become the war cry at the protest sites across the Valley.

IGP Vijay Kumar, who visited the protestors at two sites, urged Kashmiri Pandits not to leave the Valley under fear.

“You don’t have to be scared, you should not leave from here. If you go to Jammu or any other place, that is the agenda of Pakistan and terrorists.  So we have to work together to defeat the agenda of the enemy,” he said.

Kumar said there will be a permanent peace in Kashmir in near future.

“Police, army and CRPF together will eliminate all of them (terrorists) within one-and-a-half year. A permanent peace will come by eliminating the militants, for that you will have to be patient and not get carried away by political parties,” he added.

The IGP asked the protestors to vacate the road at Anantnag and hold the sit-in protest inside their colony due to safety concerns.

“I have visited the other camps also, they are protesting there as well but within the colony. Sitting on the road is dangerous as the militants can throw a grenade while passing by on a bike or in a cab,” he said.

Kumar told the protestors that “protesting is no crime or sin. You should protest but not on the road”.

“There are two aspects – one is to provide security and the second is to follow the standard operating procedure. This is totally unsafe to sit on a ‘dharna’ (sit-in) on the road; you can sit on the dharna inside. When army police and CRPF are attacked, civilians are sitting ducks.”

Kumar said there was an extensive exercise going on with respect to the security of the migrant employees.

“The security of the camps (colonies) will be enhanced. Employees posted in remote areas will be brought to the district headquarters.

“Besides providing security, the other aspect is to reduce the number of terrorists. Right now their numbers have come down significantly…out of frustration they are hitting soft targets like off-duty policemen or minority community members or migrant labourers,” he added.

Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole assured protesting employees at Vessu in south Kashmir that all the service-related issues will be resolved within a week’s time while their other demands will be taken up with top officials.

Pole, who was accompanied by IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, met protesting KPs at Vessu camp. The KPs handed over the memorandum to the Divisional Commissioner regarding their demands including their relocation to Jammu.

Addressing the protesting KPs, the Divisional Commissioner said that all the issues related to the services of KPs will be resolved within a week as steps are already afoot in this regard.

“I assure you that your issues related to jobs, place of postings, districts of postings, promotions, etc., will be resolved within a week,” Pole said.

He said that militants have “lost their strength of targeting big security installations which they used to do earlier and now they are attacking soft targets including unarmed policemen who visit homes on leave”.

“These killings are meant to create fear psychosis among minorities. I can tell you that the security environment in Kashmir is not what it was some 10 years ago. There is a lot of improvement,” he said.

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