Point-blank murder of Pandit in his office chair rattles confidence of community living in Valley  

After 12 years, 75 Pandit households hit the streets expressing deep sense of worry and despair about an unsure future.

After 12 years, 75 Pandit households hit the streets expressing deep sense of worry and despair about an unsure future.


Killed by militants in his workplace chair at Chadoora’s guarded tehsil workplace, Rahul Bhat, 35, was among the many first batch of migrant Kashmiri Pandits who returned to his homeland in 2010 after twenty years of migration and thereafter began residing within the first guarded Sheikhpora transit colony for Kashmiri Pandits in Budgam. Twelve years on, round 75 Pandit households on the colony hit the streets on Friday as they expressed a deep sense of worry and despair about an unsure future as within the Nineties.

The distraught household of the deceased Bhat, whose physique was shifted to Jammu on Thursday, carried out the final rites on the Buntalab cremation floor in Jammu amid protests and demand for justice. Bhat’s father Bitta Bhat, a retired policeman, had migrated within the Nineties from Budgam’s Sangrampora, an space the place seven Pandits have been killed by gunmen in a single day in 1997.

Regardless of the gory historical past, Bhat’s return in 2010 had ignited hope among the many migrant group to return to their roots as he took up a authorities job below the Prime Minister’s Return and Rehabilitation Scheme of 2008 and began serving as a clerk in Chadoora’s tehsil workplace. Round 3,841 Pandit staff have returned to the Valley since 2010.

Thursday’s incident, nonetheless, has shaken the boldness of the group. Meenakshi Bhat, the sufferer’s spouse, is shocked by the style through which her husband was focused within the secure environs of his workplace.

“He (Bhat) by no means complained of any menace within the workplace. However the truth is that no person got here to guard him once they (terrorists) have been searching for him within the workplace,” Ms. Bhat, mom of a seven-year-old, stated. In line with the household, Bhat had additionally utilized for a switch to the district headquarters, “which was not heeded”. Bhat’s father additionally demanded an inquiry “to ascertain how they reached his room within the tehsil workplace.“ “It’s not an bizarre matter,” he stated.

‘Guarantee safety’

On the deceased’s Sheikhpora colony in Budgam — protected by excessive concrete partitions, concertina wires and an iron gate — scores of protesting Pandits, together with ladies, determined to return out on Friday and courageous smoke-shells fired by the safety forces, as they marched in the direction of the highway connecting the Srinagar airport with the primary metropolis to press the demand that J&Okay Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha ought to go to them and guarantee safety.

There’s a rising anger towards the administration. “The issue is the administration just isn’t severe (about us). Bhat was killed at a extremely secured workplace, the place a session’s choose works. They (militants) have been capable of decide and select after which go away the premises coolly. The state of affairs has gone out of the administration’s arms. This can be a large safety lapse,” stated Puran Bakshi, Bhat’s neighbour who additionally returned to the Valley in 2010. He remembered Bhat as “a diligent man who by no means missed his routine to move for workplace”.

‘Mass transfers or arms to struggle again’

Lots of of Pandit households, who’ve been protesting since Thursday on the streets, in elements of the Kashmir valley are demanding both mass transfers to the Jammu division or to be given arms to struggle again and a authorities coverage that ends the safety menace as soon as for all. Scores of Pandits additionally threatened to supply mass resignation if the federal government failed to supply a safety cowl.

“The federal government has failed to supply us safety. We don’t need any Rahul to die once more. We ought to be transferred to the Jammu division. In any other case (just like the Nineties) vehicles will come and we should go away once more. We’ll supply mass resignation if the administration fails,” Ajay, one other resident of Sheikhpora, stated.

Protesting Pandits residing in different transit camps positioned at Nutnusa in Kupwara, Tulmulla in Ganderbal, Corridor in Pulwama, Khanpur in Baramulla, Mattan in Anantnag and Vessu in Kulgam have made comparable calls for.

Officers stated that for the reason that well-known chemist Makhan Lal Bindroo and Supinder Kour, a Sikh principal, have been killed in October final 12 months, a safety cowl has been supplied to most retailers owned by non-Muslims in Srinagar. Equally, safety across the transit camps and village clusters the place Pandits dwell has additionally been stepped up, in addition to deploying heavy safety within the space.

In the meantime L-G Sinha, who met the family of Mr. Bhat, stated, “The federal government stands firmly with Rahul’s household. Terrorists and their supporters should pay a really heavy value for his or her heinous act.”

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