KP Employees Leaving Valley: KPSS

Picture of the existing KP colony in Kashmir

Srinagar: As the spate of targeted killings of minorities rocked Kashmir, a Kashmiri Pandit organisation said some employees from the community, who were provided government jobs under a rehabilitation package in 2010-11, have started moving to Jammu quietly fearing for their life, alleging the administration was unable to provide then a secure environment.

The administration, meanwhile, has given a holiday of 10 days to employees from the minority community, official sources said.

"Around 500 people or more have started leaving from different areas like Budgam, Anantnag and Pulwama. There are some non-Kashmir pandit families who have also left. It is 1990 revisited," said Sanjay Tiku, president of Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS).

"It may seem invisible but migration is going on and I was anticipating this. We had requested an appointment from the Lt Governor's office in June, but have not been given time till now," Tiku, who has never migrated out of the valley, said.

Opposition leaders, meanwhile, slammed the government over the killings and called for strong action.

Wrong measures taken by the Centre are responsible for the "worsening" situation in Jammu and Kashmir, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said after visiting the family of Kaur.

"The situation is worsening day by day and the BJP government is responsible for it. Its wrong steps and measures taken since August 5, 2019, (abrogation of Article 370) and before that as well, are directly responsible for the fast worsening situation in Kashmir," she said.

Taking to Twitter, she said heads must roll as officials at the helm should be held accountable for repeated security lapses.

National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah also visited the residence of Kaur and later said the recent attacks on civilians were aimed at creating a wedge between communities and it is the responsibility of the majority community to give a sense of security to "our brothers".

He criticised the administration for failing to apprehend the attacks and appealed to members of the minority communities in Kashmir to not allow a repeat of what happened in the 1990s by leaving their homes.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra condemned the killing of innocent people in Jammu and Kashmir and said the central government should take immediate steps for ensuring the safety of all citizens.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi urged the Centre to take effective measures to ensure the safety of the residents.

During the day, several organisations staged protests in Jammu over the killings and said such violence was the result of frustration among separatists as the region was seeing fast development and peace.

Thousands of people took part in a rally, held under the banner of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Forum (JKPF). Raising anti-Pakistan slogans, the protesters blocked traffic on the Tawi bridge in Jammu and congregated under the statue of Maharaja Hari Singh, the last King of Kashmir.

Besides the JKPF, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal, the Shiv Sena, and the Jagran Manch also held demonstrations against the incidents, while members of the Kashmiri Pandit community protested in Purkhoo, Butanagar and Muthi.

"We are holding protests to express our anger over the selective and systematic killing of minorities (Sikhs and Hindus) in Kashmir during the past few days. The terrorists of TRF (The Resistance Front) selectively targeted two teachers belonging to minority communities and shot them dead," JKPF member Rajiv Pandita said.

BJP's Jammu and Kashmir vice president Yudhvir Sethi said those responsible for killings will be punished and will not be allowed to go scot-free.
The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries also took out a protest march and condemned the spate in killings.

Led by its president, Arun Gupta, hundreds of businessmen, traders and industrialists raised anti-Pakistan slogans and demanded immediate security to minorities in the Valley.
Jammu and Kashmir National Panther party (JKNPP) activists, led by their chairman Harsh Dev Singh, staged a demonstration in Jammu, and condemned the violence and the government for failing to prevent it from happening.

Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh had Thursday said the targeted killing of civilians, particularly minorities, in Kashmir is aimed at creating an atmosphere of fear and damaging age-old communal harmony.

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