Kashmiri Pandits working in the Valley, majority of them under the Prime Minister’s rehabilitation package, on Thursday staged protests at different places against the killing of their colleague, Rahul Bhat, by militants in Budgam district.
The protesting Kashmiri Pandit government employees blocked the Srinagar-Jammu highway outside Vessu migrant colony in Anantnag district. They lit candles to register their protest.
Visibly disturbed by the broad daylight killing of Rahul Bhat in a government office during working hours, one of the protesters said: “If rehabilitation costs life, we will prefer to resign and leave Kashmir forever.
“We are being made soft targets by militants. They (militants) should also clarify their policy. If they are out to kill all of us, they should tell us clearly. But the fact remains that the government has failed to protect us despite making tall claims”.
During the protests on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, hundreds of vehicles remained stranded for hours.
Protests were also held at Sheikhpora, Budgam outside the migrant KP colony where women and male members of the Pandit community sat in the middle of the road in protest.
Vijay Kumar, IGP (Kashmir) visited Sheikhpora Budgam to express sympathy with the fellow colleagues of the slain employee. However, the protesters insisted that he should bring Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to the spot.
Many protesters alleged that the killing of Rahul Bhat at Tehsil office Chadoora was a major security lapse.
Another protest was held along the Pulwama-Shopian highway outside KP migrant colony. Protesters shouted: “Fail Hai, Fail Hai, administration fail Hai.”
Protests were also held in Baramulla district where the Pandit members assembled at Pandit Colony Veerwan demanding justice and protection to Kashmiri Pandits working in the Valley.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)