Protesters demand safety, secure accommodation; Alleges Centre failed to protect minorities in Valley
Srinagar, May 14: Protests against the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit employee by militants continued across Kashmir for the third straight day with protesters demanding punishment to guilty and safe accommodation.
The protestors at Sheikhpora, Budgam and at Srinagar’s press colony, demanded immediate justice and raised slogans against the J&K administration and the central government. They alleged that the Centre failed to protect the minorities
“Either to keep us safe here or we will leave Kashmir this is our last demand from the government,” the protesters said adding that “the system has collapsed, security has collapsed and safety has collapsed.”
“We are just angry with the government and administration for not taking any concrete steps regarding their security and safety, said a protesting Pandit
On Thursday, militants barged into the Tehsil office Chadoora and fired from a close range at a government employee Rahul Bhat, working under Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation Package (PMRP), as a clerk. However he was immediately referred to SMHS Hospital where doctors declared him dead.
Over four thousand Kashmiri Pandits are living in transit camps in various parts of Kashmir after they were given government jobs under a special employment package launched in 2010.
On the third consecutive day, scores of Kashmiri Pandiths held peaceful protest at Press colony Srinagar and were demanding for their safety and security in Kashmir. The protesters said that administration had converted “our camps into detention centres by locking us inside.” “We are not being allowed to come out nor are the media allowed to come inside. We only demand safety so that we can live a secure and normal life,” they said.
While demanding punishment for the killers and security and safety for the community, the BJP activists supporting the Pandits also took out a protest rally against Bhat’s killing in Jawahar Nagar area of Srinagar.
Kashmiri Pandit government employees who are staying in Veerwan transit camp in Baramulla district also hold the protest demonstrations demanding the end of injustices against them in Kashmir following which a violent fight broke out between police and protesting Pandit employees there.
“Will the government prove what they have done for us so far, “? asked a protester while demanding protection for KP’s across Kashmir. “If proper security measures are not taken for us, we will leave Kashmir in the coming days which we have all decided now because no one cares if we are being killed here,” Rakash, another protester, told.
Members of the community residing in Natnoosa colony in Kupwara district also staged a peaceful protest against the central government and demanded safety in the wake of the killing of their community member. “We have all just decided that we will leave Kashmir if the government does not do us justice because we are tired of seeing the bodies of our loved ones here,” a female protester said.
Similarly, another protester said that “If the government does not decide in their favor then they will quietly resign from their jobs.”
Similarly, the KP’s also staged protests inside Pandit migrant colony Sheikhpura Budgam where after the death of Bhat most of the tensions remain. The protesters demanded protection and heightened security at their places of jobs and residential quarters including Sheikhpora, Budgam, Vessu in Qazigund and Hall in Pulwama.
“We beg the Kashmir administration to protect our lives otherwise we will be forced to leave Kashmir, ” another female protester said, adding that how long will they see this carnage? Leaving the job, we must first protect our lives, but when we do not protect them, what should we do with the job? she asked.
They urged the LG administration to step up security and ensure a safe and secure environment for all the KPs working under the PMRP package in the Valley.
Meanwhile, the reports of the KP’s protest also came from other parts of Kashmir where the protesters were demanding that either the government has to protect their lives or they will leave Kashmir.