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Opposition trains guns at BJP over targeted killing in Kashmir

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Srinagar: In the wake of targeted killings in Kashmir, several opposition leaders are training guns at the ruling BJP dispensation at the Centre, blaming its policies for the deteriorating situation in the Valley.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday lashed out at the Narendra Modi government over the targeted killings in Jammu and Kashmir and asked why the BJP and RSS were silent over these incidents.

He also said that although the BJP leaders earlier claimed that abrogation of Article 370 would normalise the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the situation was far from it.

Baghel said, “They (BJP leaders) were claiming that after revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir everything will be normalised there. Then why did that not happen? They had time to watch ‘Kashmir Files’ (a movie based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in the 1990s), but now why BJP and RSS are silent when Hindus are being killed there?”

“The important thing is that their strategy on Kashmir has completely failed. What they thought was not right,” he alleged.

Baghel further asked who was accountable for the killings of Kashmir Pandits and Hindus in Kashmir and what the government has been doing to ensure that they are protected.

“On Thursday, Hindu government employees took out a rally there seeking to know what steps are being taken by the government to ensure their protection. The Government of India and the Governor of J&K should answer them. When they can’t protect government employees then what about the common people,” he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the situation in Kashmir is “extremely worrisome” and appealed to the Centre government to ensure the security of the people there who are being targeted and killed by militants.

“The entire country is extremely worried about the situation in Kashmir. One exodus had happened around 1990 and another exodus is happening now. The way they are being targeted and killed by terrorists, it is a worrisome issue. I appeal to the Centre government to ensure their security,” Kejriwal told reporters.

“The pictures I just saw from Srinagar airport and how people are negotiating with truck drivers to leave. All of this is worrisome,” he added.

Senior AAP leader Harsh Dev Singh sought the resignation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the “explosive situation” post-reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Centre’s proxy rule has completely failed to deal with the situation in Jammu and Kashmir which has become worse than that in early 90s,” Singh said expressing concern over the murder of a school teacher, bank manager and a labourer in the Union territory (UT) over the past few days.

Charging the Union government of having converted the region into a “vortex of violence”, the former minister said while the governance in the UT seemed to have been outsourced to outside bureaucrats, there were hardly any takers for the growing alienation amongst people against the “present misrule”.

“With the political process having been rendered defunct in the UT, political parties discredited and discouraged and saner voices suppressed through government agencies, the law and order seemed to have totally collapsed,” he said.

Claiming that an apathetic and lackadaisical approach of the Centre was responsible for re-emergence of militancy in the UT, Singh sought the resignation of the prime minister and the home minister for the “explosive situation created in Jammu and Kashmir post its reorganisation”.

He alleged J&K needed a full time popular government to save itself from further “ruin and disaster”.

The AAP leader further said the government’s claims of having stopped infiltration and curbed Pakistan-backed insurgency had proved as “mere hyperboles” with militant activities having spread to even peaceful areas of Jammu region.

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi urged the Home Minister Amit Shah to provide adequate security to Hindus and migrants in the Kashmir Valley.

In a letter to Shah, the Sena leader also sought a probe by a competent agency into the killings, adequate compensation to the families of the victims, and a government job for one family member if the victim were the sole breadwinner.

Chaturvedi also alleged that the Union government had not taken any effective action regarding the recent killings.

“In view of the current situation in Kashmir, I request you to provide adequate security to the Hindu community in Kashmir. Considering the gravity of the situation, I also request you to order an investigation into the recent killings by a competent authority,” the Sena MP wrote.

Recent killings “have amplified the feeling of fear and uncertainty among Hindus residing in Kashmir. Such targeted attacks on Kashmiri Pandits and migrants raises questions on the implementation of various schemes launched by the Government of India for the development and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants,” Chaturvedi said in the letter.

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