Protests rock Jammu against killing of two migrant labourers
Jammu: Several parties and organisations on Tuesday held protests here against the killing of two non-local labourers by terrorists in the latest targeted attack in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, officials said.
Kashmiri Pandit migrants and Jammu-based reserved category employees, who have been protesting to press for relocation after a string of such attacks in recent months, said the killing of three minority community members over the past few days proved their apprehensions about the ground situation in the Valley.
Activists of Shiv Sena, Rashtriya Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena Dogra Front held demonstrations at Bari Brahmana, Bus Stand and Rani Park in Jammu and its outskirts, respectively.
Monish Kumar and Ram Sagar, both residents of Uttar Pradesh’s Kannauj, were killed in a grenade attack by terrorists while they were asleep in their rented accommodation in Shopian district in the early hours of Tuesday.
This was the second targeted attack in the district since Saturday when a Kashmiri Pandit Puran Krishan Bhat was gunned down by terrorists outside his ancestral house in the Chowdhary Gund.
Senior Congress leader and former minister Yogesh Sawhney termed the killing of the labourers as “unfortunate” and said such incidents reflect the failure of the government.
Condemning the killing of the labourers, president of the J&K unit of Shiv Sena Manish Sahni slammed the government for its alleged failure to control the targeted killings in the Valley.
“Over two dozen migrant labourers and other minority community members have been killed by terrorists in Kashmir since 2017… The government at the Centre and J&K administration have failed to provide a safe and secure atmosphere to the people working in Kashmir,” he said.
The Kashmir Pandit migrant employees and Jammu-based reserved category employees, who have fled the Valley in the aftermath of the killing of their colleagues in May, vowed not to return till the situation improves.
“We will not return to Kashmir till the security situation improves there. Our protest will continue,” Kuldeep, a Kashmiri Pandit migrant employed under the Prime Minister’s employment package for the community, said as his group continued their protest at the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner’s office in Jammu.
General secretary Apni Party Vijay Bakaya also expressed concern at the cold-blooded murders.
“This incident confirms the apprehension of Prime Minister Package employees that the trend of targeted killing has not ceased and the environment is still not conducive for their return and work safely in the valley,” Bakaya, a Kashmiri Pandit leader, said in a statement.
He urged the LG administration to take a “realistic and humane” view and not take coercive measures like stoppage of salary to force the PM package employees to return to duty in the Valley.
“Instead those who have come to Jammu should be treated on deputation or attached temporarily in the relief organisation or other offices for performing assigned tasks till the wave of targeted killing subsides,” he said.
He reiterated that the migrant employees have been performing duties diligently since 2010.
“This is an extraordinary situation which requires an extraordinary solution,” the Apni Party leader said.