People have spoken out

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The brutal killing of Puran Krishan Bhat, a farmer from Chowdhary Gund area of south Kashmir’ Shopian district, has enraged people cutting across political ideologies and the majority community has spoken in voice rejecting the terrorism and acts of terror. Candlelight marches were held at several places in including Srinagar, Baramulla, Bandipora, Anantnag, Kulgam, Kupwara, Ganderbal, Budgam and Shopian districts. People from all walks of life participated in these marches in large numbers. A silent protest against the killing was held at Rainawari Stadium in the Downtown area of Srinagar too.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.

People coming out on streets against the innocent killing is a message that should rattle those who are indulging in such murders. They claim to be representing the aspirations of the people but are in fact the worst enemies of Kashmiri Muslims. On one hand, they are disobeying Allah but killing innocents and thus bringing a bad name to the religion of Islam and on the other hand are trying to portray Kashmiri Muslims as terror sympathizers thus trying to isolate them within their own country. As for as disobeying the Allah, He Himself will punish them for their sins but as their mad acts are harming the majority community in Kashmir, the community itself has to rise and convey to them that this madness is not acceptable. And that is what the people of Kashmir did on Sunday.

That said, the UT administration and the concerned security agencies need to gear up and do everything possible to put an end to such killings. It is very important that proper policing procedures are followed while investigating Bhat’s murder. As reported by the media, slain Bhat was a protected person and had police guard at his home, how come the terrorist managed to kill him. The police have to go for a fair probe and find out the lapses, if any, and fix the responsibility. Safety of people is the responsibility of the government. The government cannot afford to confine its response to mere condemnations. The loopholes within the security management are to be identified and corrected. The networks that help these murderers to survive and operate are to be identified and targeted.

While peoples’ response to the killing has been upto the mark, need is to defeat the ill designs of those who want to portray these killings as something like Muslims killing Hindus. This narrative is dangerous. There are terrorists who are targeting select people irrespective of their religious faith. Muslims migrant labourers too are being killed; Muslim policemen are being killed; Muslim civilians including political activists are being killed. It has nothing to do with some kind of ‘civilisational clash.’ It is terrorism and the objective of the terrorists is to keep the pot boiling and not allow Kashmir to thrive as a normal and peaceful place. And this objective of terrorists can be shattered by none other than the government and its security grid.

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