Press Trust of India

Rahul Bhat’s killing: LG to make big announcement on Kashmiri Pandit employees in Valley, says BJP

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Srinagar/Jammu: The BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit on Sunday condemned the use of force against Kashmiri Pandit employees protesting the killing of Rahul Bhat and said Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has a big announcement to make concerning them.

Bhat, who had got the job of a clerk under the special employment package for migrants in 2010-11, was gunned down by terrorists inside the tehsil office in Chadoora town of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Thursday.

Protests were held at several places in the Union Territory over the killing as well as the “failure” of the administration to provide security to Kashmiri Pandit employees. Police used batons and tear smoke shells at Sheikhpora in Budgam on Friday to quell the protest.

The L-G on Sunday ordered an inquiry into the use of force against the protesters.

The BJP claimed that a sense of insecurity was increasing among the Kashmiri Pandit employees due to a number of their colleagues being killed in the Valley in the past year.

After meeting Sinha at the Raj Bhawan in Srinagar over the issue, Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina along with General Secretary (Organisation) Ashok Kaul visited the Budgam Migrant camp to pacify the Kashmiri Pandit employees demanding transfer outside Kashmir.

“The lieutenant governor has a big announcement to make concerning employees belonging to the Hindu community serving in Kashmir”, Raina told the protesters.

Within 10 days, the L-G will visit your camps and take feedback from you before announcing the decision, he said.

Asserting that the concerns of these protesting employees are genuine, the Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief said these need to be addressed by the administration. “The LG has assured us that these concerns will be addressed,” he said.

In a bid to reach out to these employees, Raina said, “If you feel the decision announced by LG benefits you, we are with you. But if you will feel that it is against your aspiration, then also we will be with you.”

A nine-point memorandum, submitted by the Jammu and Kashmir BJP to the L-G, stated that it was imperative for the administration to infuse among the protesters a sense of security, confidence and belongingness so that the Kashmiri Hindus prosper in the Valley and integrate into this milieu.

“The Head of the state is like a father figure who has to ensure a sense of security among the weaker section of the population and stand by them like a rock”, Raina said in the memorandum.

He said that Kashmiri Hindu employees were in the most distress phase of survival following the killings of their colleagues.

“A sense of incoming death is the most fearful thing for anyone, particularly when he or she lives in an uncertain situation caused by an unbridled gun, whose first and foremost target is a Kashmiri Hindu and all those Kashmiris, who stand with India and fight to bring in change towards peace, progress and prosperity in Kashmir,” Raina added.

Rahul Bhat’s killing in a busy government office in broad daylight by terrorists has shattered them, he said.

Lashing out at the administration for the use of force against the protesters, Raina said this cannot be tolerated and those involved in it should be punished.

“They are not bonded labourers,” he said, adding the use of force made the protesters “raise anti-Modi and anti-BJP slogans” in Jammu, Srinagar, Baramulla-Kupwara, Vessu and Mattan, he said.

The Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief alleged that efforts were being made to create fear and terror by selective killings akin to the 1990 situation in the Kashmir Valley.

“All minorities, particularly Kashmiri Pandits and other Hindus and Sikhs have come here to serve the Kashmiris… They are not involved in any other activity. They are unarmed. By killing them, terrorists want to create terror and fear like the situation of 1990. Don’t allow them (terrorists) to succeed,” Raina said.

The BJP batted for deputing the protesting Kashmiri pandit to the Central service and said they need to be given a breathing period.

They should be posted in secured areas and a nodal cell should be set up in the L-G office to address their issues of promotions, postings and housing problems, the party said.

It also said that the bonds signed by the employees as a condition for getting jobs in Kashmir should be done away with as it is discriminatory, unconstitutional and a violation of human rights.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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