More than 100 Kashmiri pandits have fled the valley in recent days as panic over targeted killings grew among the minority group. With migration from the Muslim-majority Kashmir region to the Hindu-majority Jammu region, this form of exodus occurs even after the center has rejected their resettlement application.
The region has seen consecutive targeted killings over the past month, prompting a mass migration of frightened Hindus, a community leader said on Wednesday June 1.
There have been approximately 16 targeted killings in the past month. A Hindu schoolteacher, Rajni Bala, was killed outside a government school in the Kulgam region on Tuesday May 31 and two non-Kashmir workers were also attacked in the Chadoora area of the Budgam district and one died Injuries when they were taken to the nearest medical facility.
A bank manager, Vijay Kumar, was attacked by a terrorist at the local branch of Ellaquai Dehati Bank in the same region on Thursday 2 June. The attack was carried out by a terrorist group called the Kashmir Freedom Fighters, the Times Now reported. They claimed the attack on social media and warned non-locals not to settle in the valley.
There are about 160 active terrorists in the valley, of which 70 are local militants and 90 are foreigners. There are estimated to be around 50 hybrid terrorists and sources have said Pakistan is making sure weapons like pistols and sticky bombs reach these hybrid terrorists, India Today reports.
Kashmiri Hindu colonies are becoming emptier by the day
The president of a Pandit colony in Kashmir’s Baramulla region, Avtar Krishan Bhat, said half of the 300 families there have already fled the area since Tuesday, the Deccan Herald reported.
Similarly, Kashmiri pandits living in the Mattan transit colony in the Anantnag region claimed that only a dozen families out of 96 remain there and that they plan to leave in the coming days as well.
Since the majority of the pandits are stationed there as government employees in the region, they have also asked for help from the resettlement center. Kashmiri Hindus have said that PM Narendra Modi’s current government has been trying to prevent the migration for several weeks and that Hindu residents have been calling for the blockades to be lifted so they can move to a safer place, like New York Times reports.
Vehicles carrying Hindu employees and their families leave Kashmir early in the morning from Pandit transit colonies such as those in the Mattan, Vessu, Sheikhpora, Baramulla and Kupwara regions of the valley.
Open letter for help
Amid the killings and fear, Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), who is a popular body of the Pandits, wrote an open letter to the J&K Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal, seeking intervention to allow the Pandits to migrate, how The Hindu reports.
In the open letter, KPSS President Sanjay K. Tickoo has written that every member of the minority group is under direct threat from the terrorists in the Valley and that the “Union Territory and Central Administration have failed to safeguard their lives”.
He added that the Pandits and Hindus want to leave the area for a safer place, but the government “doesn’t allow them to leave” and that some privileged people who have access to power are asking their relatives to be posted “outside the Kashmir -Valley.”
He also said that it was a clear violation of the right to life, a right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, that the government, failing to protect their lives, would not let them leave the valley so they could save their own lives.
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) and an imam from the Anantnag Jamia Masjid have openly condemned the attack on the minority group. Kashmir has been fighting insurgency militants in the region since the late 1980s, which has led to a mass exodus of Kashmiri pandits, nearly 2,50,000 of whom have fled the region in fear.
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