350 Kashmiri Pandits serving in J&K administration resign; slam Union govt, LG for failing to protect them

As many as 350 Kashmiri Pandits serving Jammu and Kashmir administration have resigned in protest after a Kashmiri Pandit was shot dead by suspected terrorists on Thursday

Representative photo (Lal Chowk, Srinagar)
Representative photo (Lal Chowk, Srinagar)
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NH Political Bureau

As many as 350 Kashmiri Pandits working with the Jammu and Kashmir administration have resigned in protest after the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit, Rahul Bhat by suspected terrorists.

They sent their resignation to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Friday, accusing the BJP-led Central government of failing to provide them security.

According to Valley-based media, resignations were sent en masse to the LG and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs by an organization of Kashmiri Pandit employees called ‘All PM Package Employees Forum’.

“Due to dejection by the policies of the administration and subsequent failure of providing a sense of security to all Kashmiri Pandit minorities serving in the valley for the last 12 years, and due to desperation by promised custodians, who promised us to provide a dignified and honourable return, and due to threat of life which is a fundamental right of each and every human being,” the communication read.

“We PM Package employees and non-PM package employees have been left with no option but to give en mass resignation which we know is the only solution to save our lives,” said the Kashmir Pandits in the resignation letter.

Rahul Bhat was killed inside Tehsil Office Chadoora in Budgam by suspected terrorists.

Following this, thousands of protesters hit the street and shouted slogans against the Modi government. The police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the protesters.

Several Kashmiri Pandits took to the Twitter to express their anger against the government. In many places, BJP leaders had to face their wrath. Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina was heckled by the protesters.

After the protest against the government intensified, LG Manoj Sinha met with the relatives of Rahul Bhat and said, “Met the relatives of Rahul Bhat and assured justice to the family. In this hour of grief, the government stands firmly with Rahul’s family. Terrorists and their supporters will have to pay a very heavy price for their heinous act.”

Bhat’s family alleged that it was a targeted killing. “He used to say everyone behaves nicely with him and nobody can harm him. Yet nobody protected him; they (terrorists) must have asked someone about him, otherwise, how would they have known?” Rahul’s wife was quoted as saying by the local media.

Bhat’s father said that his son died working for the government.

Political leaders cutting across party lines condemned the killing and demanded stern action against the perpetrators.

NCP leader Omar Abdullah called the move shameful and backed the community’s right to protest.

“It is shameful that legitimate and justified protests are met with a heavy-handed response. This is not new for the people of Kashmir because when all the administration has is a hammer every problem resembles a nail. If the LG’s Govt can’t protect KPs they have a right to protest,” Abdullah said in a tweet.