June 3, 2022 11:24 pm

No Shifting Of KP Employees To Jammu: Officials

KO File Photo By Abid Bhat

New Delhi- Amid a growing demand for shifting Kashmiri Pandit employees to safer places after a series of targeted killings, the Jammu and Kashmir administration Friday made it clear the employees would not be moved out of the Valley but transferred to safer locations.

Official also said the recent escalation in targeted militant violence would not lead to any change in plans for holding the annual Amarnath Yatra which is scheduled from June 30-August 11.

The assertion comes in the wake of a spate of militant incidents which included targeted killings of civilians.

One of the victims was Rahul Bhat. Bhat was a Kashmiri Pandit migrant who was employed under a prime minister’s package. He was shot dead by militants on May 12 at the Tehsil office in Chadoora in Central Kashmir district of Budgam.

His killing sparked demonstrations by around 6,000 employees at various places who demanded their relocation outside the Valley.

But officials Friday argued that the Jammu and Kashmir administration cannot be a party to any “ethnic-cleansing” scripted from across the border by agreeing to the demand of Kashmiri Pandit employees to be shifted out of the Valley.

They also asserted the killing of soft targets by militant groups won’t deter them from holding the annual Amarnath Yatra.

Over two lakh pilgrims have already registered themselves for the annual pilgrimage, they said.

The militant groups working at the behest of “countries fomenting terrorism” are worried by the return of normalcy in the Valley and therefore, soft targets are picked up to instil fear among the masses and create chaos, they said.

The J&K administration is not going to be bogged down by this, they said, exuding confidence that the security forces would put an end to these targeted killings like they did in October 2021 when militants carried out a spate of targeted attacks including on prominent chemist M L Bindroo and a Sikh teacher.

The officials said the Amarnath Yatra was a symbol of Kashmir’s composite culture and will go on despite some threat perception which will be handled.

They said these targeted killings show that militant groups’ ability to strike at protected targets has shrunk, and therefore soft targets are being approached.

They said there was an evil design behind these targeted killings and cautioned that the attacks were not to create a division between Hindus and Muslims but to establish one “nizam” in the Valley.

For this they can kill anyone who doesn’t follow their line, they said, pointing out that Muslims have also been killed by these groups.

The officials, while talking about prospects of holding elections in the union territory, said this was a decision that would be taken by the Election Commission only.

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