Rahul Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit, has been mercilessly killed in a horrendous act of terror in the Budgam district in Jammu & Kashmir. Terrorists fired bullets at Rahul, who was employed as a government clerk, from a close range while he was on duty at the Tehsildar’s office in Chadoora. The Kashmir police’s official Twitter handle put out the news.
The victim was rushed to a hospital in Budgam. However, due to his critical condition, he was moved to the SMHS Hospital, Srinagar, where he succumbed to his injuries. Notably, this attack occurred just a day after two separate encounters to eliminate terrorists in J&K’s Anantnag and Bandipora districts.
In Bandipora, a joint cordon and search operation was undertaken by the police, 3rd Battalion CRPF, and 14 Rashtriya Rifles after receiving intel about terrorists’ movement in the Salinder forest area. Security forces had neutralized one terrorist, identified as Gulzar Ahmad Ganie, in an encounter during the operation. As per ANI reports, Ganie was a local of the Wussan Pattan area of Baramulla.
An official statement on the encounter from the forces read, “The killed terrorist had infiltrated in 2018 and remained there for three years and six months before returning in the last week of April. The search for the other two accomplice terrorists is still going on.”
On the other hand, in the Marhama village area of Anantnag’s Bijbehara, the police, 3rd Rashtriya Rifles, and 90 Battalion CRPF had launched the anti-terrorist operation. “As the joint search party approached the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists started firing indiscriminately on the search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the statement informed. Further details on the operation in Anantnag are awaited.
Target killings of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir
The unfortunate killing of Rahul Bhat is not the first incident of targeting Kashmiri Pandits in recent times by the terrorists who have infested the valley.
Terrorists had shot Kashmiri Pandit Bal Krishan in the Chotigam village of South Kashmir’s Shopian district on April 4. This area is a hotbed of Islamist terrorism and is considered a ‘fortress’ of the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The targeting of the Hindus in Kashmir didn’t stop with the shooting of Bal Krishnan. Two other laborers from Bihar, Patlashwar Kumar, and Jakku Choudhary, were attacked in Lajoora village of the Pulwama district on the same day. Though no death was reported, both the laborers were left heavily wounded.
These attacks have picked intensity since the targetted killing of Kashmiri Pandits in October 2021. The victims of anti-Hindu terrorism were two teachers who were deliberately picked out from the Muslim teachers and gunned down in broad daylight. Another victim was a prominent businessman and pharmacy owner ML Bindroo who was also killed in Srinagar. Apart from these, a government school teacher was killed by terrorists after he instructed his students to stand at attention during the National Anthem.
We know that even after 30 years of a planned genocide of the Kashmiri Hindus by Islamist terrorists in Kashmir, no state support has been provided to the victims. While the discussion about the rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Pandits has only begun to take shape, a series of Hindu killings in Kashmir has come back as a terrible reminder of the 90s.