Kashmiri Hindus Flee Homeland After Spike In Targeted Killings, Pandits Body Writes Open Letter Seeking Help

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Kashmiri Hindus Flee Homeland After Spike In Targeted Killings, Pandit's Body Writes Open Letter Seeking Help

After the 1989 militant rebellion caused an exodus of more than 2,50,000 Hindu families, panic-stricken Kashmiri Pandits are fleeing the valley in fear of targeted killings again.

More than 100 Kashmiri Pandits have fled the valley in the past few days as the panic of targeted killings rose among the minority group. Migrating from the Muslim-majority area of Kashmir to the Hindu-majority area of Jammu, this form of exodus comes even after the Centre rejected their plea for relocation.

The region has seen back-to-back targeted killings in the last month, which has led to the mass migration of terrified Hindus, a community leader said on Wednesday, June 1.

Targeted Killings

There have been approximately 16 targeted killings in the past month. A Hindu schoolteacher, Rajni Bala, was killed on Tuesday, May 31, outside a government school in the Kulgam region, and two non-Kashmiri labourers were also attacked in the Chadoora area of the Budgam district, and the one succumbed to the injuries when they were taken to the nearest medical facility.

A bank manager, Vijay Kumar, was attacked by a terrorist inside the local branch of Ellaquai Dehati bank in the same region on Thursday, June 2. The attack was carried out by a terrorist group called "Kashmir Freedom Fighters", as reported by Times Now. They claimed the attack on social media and warned non-locals not to settle in the valley.

There are around 160 active terrorists in the valley, 70 of whom are local militants and 90 are foreign. At an estimate, there are about 50 hybrid terrorists, and sources have said that Pakistan ensures that weapons like pistols and sticky bombs reach these hybrid terrorists, as reported by India Today.

Kashmiri Hindu Colonies Emptier By The Day

The president of a Kashmiri Pandit colony in the Baramulla region, Avtar Krishan Bhat, said that half of the 300 families there had already fled the area since Tuesday, as reported by Deccan Herald.

Similarly, Kashmiri Pandits living in the Mattan transit colony in the Anantnag region claimed that only a dozen out of 96 families residing there are left, and that they plan on leaving in the coming days too.

Since the majority of Pandits there are government employees posted in the region, they have sought relief from the Centre for relocation too. Kashmiri Hindus have said that the current administration of PM Narendra Modi has tried the prevent the migration for several weeks and that Hindu residents have demanded the lifting of the blockades so that they can move to a safer place, as reported by The New York Times.

Vehicles carrying Hindu employees, and their families, leave Kashmir early in the morning from Pandit transit colonies like the ones in the Mattan, Vessu, Sheikhpora, Baramulla, and Kupwara regions of the valley.

Open Letter For Help

Amidst the killings and the fear, the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), which is a popular Pandits' body, sought intervention to allow the pandits to migrate in an open letter to the J&K Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal, as reported by The Hindu.

In the open letter, the president of KPSS, Sanjay K. Tickoo, has written that every member of the minority group is under direct threat from the terrorists in the valley and that the "Union Territory and the Central administration have failed to secure their lives".

He added that the Pandits and Hindus want to leave the area for a safer place, but the government is "not allowing them to leave" and that some privileged people, who have access to power, have managed the posting of their kin "outside the Kashmir Valley."

He also said that it was a clear violation of the right to life, a right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, that the administration which fails to protect their lives also does not let them leave the valley so that they can save their lives themselves.

The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) and an imam from the Anantnag Jamia Masjid have openly condemned the attack on the minority group. Kashmir has been fighting militant insurgency in the area since the end of the 1980s, which has led to the mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, with almost 2,50,000 of them fleeing the area due to fear.

Also Read: J&K: Specially-Abled Boy Walks Over 2 Km On One Leg Daily To Reach School, Aspires To Become Doctor

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Writer : Shiva Chaudhary
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