The spate of recent killings of Hindus employed in the Kashmir valley has sparked yet another exodus. It has also thrown up disturbing questions about how victims are being targeted with such pin-point accuracy. Memories of the horrible genocide and resultant exodus that the valley witnessed in 1989-90 are being revived, which were replete with chilling stories of how Kashmiri Hindus were betrayed by their Muslim neighbours and colleagues.
The Islamic radicalization which led to religious cleansing of Hindus three decades back is as deep today as ever, and the deafening silence adopted by the overwhelming majority of Kashmiris to the current bout of killings is a grim reminder of the same.
Now, disturbing details have emerged about how two of the Hindu victims killed recently – govt. teacher Rajni Bala and govt. clerk Rahul Bhat – were targeted
In a news discussion about the killings, a Kashmiri Pandit (KP) revealed that Rahul Bhat was in Delhi but was called back to work in the Tehsil office in Budgam district. He was killed on the same day he joined work. Two armed terrorists calmly walked in to the govt. office, and security was no where to be seen. The Tehsil and SDM offices are located next to each other, so ideally there should have been a good level of security in the complex. “How can you trust the local security guards when such incidents happen?”, the KP, who’s identity was kept anonymous on the news show, asks.
Rahul Bhat’s wife Meenakshi’s statement corroborates what the KP said. As per Meenakshi, her husband had requested the local administration to transfer him to the district headquarter as he felt felt insecure while working in Chadoora.
“But despite repeated pleas, he wasn’t transferred,” Meenakshi Bhat told India Today TV.
School teacher Rajni Bala had also stopped going to work, fearing for her safety. She too was forced to come back to work, the KP man informs us, and was shot dead by terrorists soon after.
Rajni’s husband Raj Kumar has blamed the district administration for turning a deaf ear to their repeated requests to transfer her to a safer area in view of the targeted killings of Hindus in the Union Territory. Kumar, who is also a government school teacher in Kulgam, said they had approached the Kulgam Chief Education Officer (CEO) Mohd. Ashraf Rather for their transfer to a safer place after a Hindu was killed by terrorists at Kakran, which is close to Rajni’s place of posting. Rajni and Kumar were posted in two schools in Kulgam in 2009.
“I had given an application to the CEO. We had told him that the school is not safe for my wife, but he did not do anything,” Kumar said. He went to the Kulgam CEO again after a few days and requested him for Rajni’s transfer, but was angrily turned away with threats that Bala would be posted further away if he kept insisting.
Even Rajni had written a letter to the CEO requesting for a transfer on security ground.
“After the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit employee, we met the Kulgam deputy commissioner about the security aspects. The DC called the CEO and directed him to post us in secured places. The CEO told me that the earlier application was misplaced and asked me to give another application,” Kumar said, alleging that the CEO did nothing for the next 12 days.
As nothing happened despite giving the applications and making fervent requests to the CEO for their transfer, the couple met the director of school education in Srinagar on Monday. “We requested him to post us in one school. We gave him the name of the school and both of us were and both of us were transferred to that school on Monday (30 May) night,” Kumar said.
Tuesday, 31 May, was supposed to be the last day for Bala at her old school. But she was killed just minutes after Kumar dropped her off that morning.
Apart from religious clerics, the role of Pakistani-sponsored white-collar terrorists and intellectual OGWs (over ground workers) in fanning the flames of religious supremacism and spreading false, anti-national narratives has been highlighted by some clear-headed Muslims too. The hard reality is that radicalism has taken deep root in Kashmiri Muslim society and thus even the local administration is thoroughly compromised as well.
The government showed courage and will in revoking Article 370 in August 2019. It correctly rounded up leaders of mainstream terror-appeasing political parties and radical Islamist bodies like JeI and Hurriyat to ensure that Kashmir did not burn after that historic decision. But gradually, it seems that due to international and domestic pressure by the liberal-secular lobby, the situation has been allowed to drift and focus has shifted to planning for future elections.
Kashmir is ground zero for the jihad that threatens the whole of Bharat. Unless the roots of Islamism and the military-mullah complex in Pakistan are destroyed, no elections or system of governance can deliver peace. This is a long-term civilizational war in which we have think ahead in terms of decades, even centuries.