KPSS questions BJP’s intentions after another Kashmiri Pandit killed in Shopian
The reactions were triggered by the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit, Puran Krishan Bhat on 15 October, who was gunned down by militants outside his ancestral home in Choudhary Gund village of Shopian
As the news of 10 Kashmiri Pandit families leaving their village in the Shopian district of south Kashmir out of fear came out, the district administration of Shopian issued a statement, terming the claims as baseless attempts to spread misinformation.
The District Administration Shopian said that proper and robust security arrangements have been put in place in the village even in other pockets of Kashmiri non-migrant Hindu habitations and villages.
Soon, the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS), an organisation addressing the concerns of Kashmiri Pandit residents in the Valley, responded to the statement. In a tweet, KPSS wrote: “Arrogant and self-obsessed officers in Kashmir are in continuous denial mode. For them "All is Well" in Valley. @BJP4India and their incompetent and narcissistic officers have pushed the Law and Order of Kashmir to dark ages.”
The reactions were triggered by the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit, Puran Krishan Bhat on 15 October, who was gunned down by militants outside his ancestral home in Choudhary Gund village of Shopian. Later, on 18 October, Monish Kumar and Ram Sagar, both residents of Uttar Pradesh’s Kannauj were killed while they were asleep in their rented accommodation in Shopian.
Located inside dense orchards, Chowdhary Gund village in Shopian was home to around a dozen Kashmiri Pandit families who didn’t leave when militancy erupted in 1989.
“Ten families comprising 35 to 40 Kashmiri Pandits have migrated out of our village due to the fear psychosis,” a resident of Choudhary Gund village who faced a death threat recently told Press Trust of India (PTI).
A new wave of killings started in Kashmir, mainly targeting migrant workers after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019. Since last year, however, militants started targeting Kashmiri Pandits. A prominent businessman M L Bindroo was shot at his medical store in Srinagar in October.
Bhat was the fifth Kashmiri Pandit to be killed this year. Earlier, on 12 May, militants shot Rahul Bhat inside the revenue office where he worked in Budgam. On 18 August, militants killed Sunil Kumar and injured Paitamber Kumar inside an orchard in the Chotipora village of Shopian.
The killing of Rahul Bhat, who was appointed under the Prime Minister’s Relief and Rehabilitation Package for Kashmiri Pandits, triggered large-scale protests from employees under the scheme who demanded a transfer to Jammu. The attacks also prompted the administration to shift several of these employees to relatively safer locations.
In a recent interview with NDTV, KPSS chief, Sanjay Tickoo said that Kashmiri Pandits did not run away when Kashmir witnessed a peak in militancy, however, “BJP does not want them to live in Kashmir”. “We were around 808 families before, now 791 families are left,” he said.
“Even the non-local laborers are killed as they [militants] want to send out the message that even after abrogation they will not let non-locals live in Kashmir,” he said. “But we are Kashmiri Pandits. We have lived here and have a legacy of hundreds of years,” he was quoted as saying.