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KP employees take out protest march in Srinagar

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Raise slogans against administration, BJP; demand relocation to any other place in India

Srinagar: Chanting slogans at the city centre Lal Chowk’s clock tower, hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits, carrying placards asking “Aakhir Kab Tak”, staged a protest demanding their relocation following the killing of Rahul Bhat by militants 10 days ago.

Marching from the Lal Mandi area of the civil lines, 200 to 300 protestors from the community staged a sit-in and raised slogans against the Jammu and Kashmir administration for “turning a deaf ear” to their demands.

Bhat (35), who had got the job of a clerk under the special employment package for migrants in 2012-11, was shot dead by militants at his office in the Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on May 12.

According to Kashmiri Pandit rituals, the 10th day signifies the end of the mourning period.

The protestors, men and women, carried placards asking “Aakhir Kab Tak?” (till when) and demanding “relocation/ deputation of all Valley-posted migrant employees to any other place in India to stop our bloodshed”.

Raising slogans against the administration, the Pandit employees said their protest would continue till this “deaf administration” listens.

Before leaving the Lal Chowk area, the protesters en mass chanted “Om” and then marched to the BJP’s office in the Jawahar Nagar area of the city where they raised slogans against the party.

The protestors dispersed peacefully afterwards.

In the Mattan area of south Kashmir, similar processions were held against the union territory administration.

Braving unseasonal rainfall, the Kashmiri Pandit employees marched towards the famous Martand temple where some of the youths tonsured their heads as per ritual followed on the 10th day after death.

They raised slogans like “Rahul Bhai amar rahe” and demanded their relocation to safer places.

Protests have been held at several places in Jammu and Kashmir over the killing of Bhat as well as the “failure” of the administration in providing security to Kashmiri Pandit employees. (With PTI inputs)

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