Candlelight marches across Kashmir against Pandit killing
Srinagar: Candlelight marches were held at several places in Kashmir Valley on Sunday in protest against the killing of Kashmiri Pandit farmer in Shopian district a day ago.
Marches were taken out in Srinagar, Baramulla, Bandipora, Anantnag, Kulgam, Kupwara, Ganderbal and Shopian districts. People from all walks of life participated in these marches in large numbers, the officials said.
The marchers condemned the killing and expressed solidarity with Bhat’s family.
Bhat was gunned down by terrorists on Saturday outside his ancestral house in the Chowdhary Gund area of south Kashmir’ Shopian district, where he had gone to look after his orchards. Bhat was cremated in Jammu on Sunday.
A silent protest against the killing was held at Rainawari Stadium in the Downtown area of Srinagar in which people from different walks of life participated, the officials said.
Various civil society groups of Srinagar also lodged a protest at the historic Lal Chowk here against the killing. One such protest was led by the former militant, Farooq Ahmad Khan alias Saifullah, who while denouncing the killing appealed to the Lieutenant Governor to identify the killers who target innocent civilians in the Valley.
“I strongly condemn innocent killing at the hands of gunmen and want these unidentified monsters to be killed the same way. How could they do this, our Islam does not permit killing of any innocent. I appeal to the administration to identify these killers and punish them accordingly,” Khan said.
Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) leader, Sanjay Saraf also joined the procession and condemned the killing.
“This is an attack on humanity; no civilized society allows killings of innocent civilians. I think this is a ploy to create a wedge between different communities but we appeal to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to have patience at this juncture to foil the nefarious designs of unscrupulous elements,” Saraf said.
Kashmir Divisional Commissioner P K Pole paid tributes to Bhat at Shivpora area of the city.
Pole said the killing of an unarmed, innocent person was condemnable.
He said terrorism was in its last phase in Jammu and Kashmir and the recruitment into militant ranks was on decline.