Since last evening, Kashmiri Pandits have been protesting in several regions of Jammu and Kashmir, demanding safety in the wake of the killing of a 36-year-old government employee from the group.
Members of the community abandoned their transit camps, stopped roads, and sang anti-government and anti-BJP slogans, claiming that the central government and the BJP had failed them.
After being awarded government jobs under a special employment package established in 2010, approximately 4,000 Kashmiri Pandits are residing in transit camps in various districts of Kashmir.
Angry demonstrators also chanted chants against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha. Candlelight marches were also held in various locations.
According to one protester, “We’re here to work; we’re not here for anything else. Why are they slaughtering us? Just tell us what we’ve done wrong. The government and the administation has failed.”
Despite assurances from officials, Sanjay, a protester, told NDTV that attacks on the community continue. “Consider the severity of the situation: a tehsildar’s office is supposed to be a safe haven. Bullets wounded his torso as he (Bhat) worked at his table. He was shot in the head. The system has failed, security has failed, and safety has failed.”
Local Muslims joined Kashmiri Pandits at a protest in Budgam’s Shekhpora, handing them water and demanding justice and protection for community members.
Terrorists barged into the Tehsildar’s office in Chadoora village in Budgam district yesterday and shot Rahul Bhat in what appeared to be another targeted attack. He was brought to the hospital and died as a result of his injuries.