Anger, fear in communities as Kashmir simmers after killings

Anger, fear in communities as Kashmir simmers after killings

Srinagar: The majority Muslim community in Kashmir, along with those families of Kashmir pandits who have been living together for the past so many years, are angry and have fears both for their own reasons. While the Kashmiri pandits who have been living here have said that they will not migrate after persuaded by their Muslim neighbours not to do so, the Muslims here are angry with the government and media for not giving any space or probe to the alleged two fake encounters in which two civilians were killed.

“Fault lines are now visible in Kashmir valley as there is silence from media, government and all those social media platforms that were very active in the recent past after the killing of five non-Muslim civilians here,” said a senior journalist on the condition of anonymity, as he was recently summoned by police for writing what they termed “provocative stories” from Srinagar.
While the Kashmiri pandits and Hindus living here have said that they will not migrate while appealing to the Muslim community to pray for their safety in the masjids, the Muslim community of Kashmir has also shown solidarity with them, but have a lot of anger against the central government, J&K administration and police.
In many masjids of Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir, Muslims responded and said that Kashmiri pandits were part and parcel of the society and should not leave their homes. It has its context in the recent two alleged civilian killings at the hands of security forces. First was a nomad family’s only bread earner Parvaiz Ahmad, who left a pregnant wife, small children and parents, along with other members of the family.
This news did not find any attention in the media and even the government remained silent and did not even announce any probe, prompting former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to come on twitter and condemn this attitude. In a series of tweets after she was not allowed to visit this nomad family in Anantnag district of South Kashmir, she said, “Wanted to visit the family of the innocent civilian shot dead by CRPF,” Mufti tweeted, adding, “GoI wants us to selectively condemn killings. They are outraged only in cases where hate politics can be lapped up to polarize people.”
In another tweet, she said, “The situation in J&K has gone from bad to worse. My fears are compounded by the fact that instead of course correction, GoI will continue its muscular policy to reap political dividends in elections—case in point being the upcoming UP polls.” She also shared a video of a group of women mourning the death of this person who was allegedly killed by CRPF.
Similarly, the family of Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar about whom Jammu and Kashmir police said that he was a Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) terrorist and was killed in a gunfight, have contested the government claim and said that he was killed in a fake encounter.
The Kashmir Police Chief Vijay Kumar said that these allegations were baseless, but the family members told media that he was first arrested and then killed in a fake encounter while demanding probe into his killing. This news also did not get any mention in the national media and added to the anger of majority Muslim community in Kashmir valley.
After the recent killings of minority community members, the government has locked them in the clusters built for them for their security and even essential commodities were being provided to them inside by the police. Despite these measures, most of those migrant employees have fled to Jammu and are refusing to join back in Kashmir unless the government provides them proper security.
Responding to their appeals for security, the government has asked these employees that they should join back or action would be taken against them as per service rules. Divisional Commissioner P.K. Pole has directed all the Deputy Commissioners and SSPs that they should meet the representatives of these employees about their apprehensions regarding security and accommodation and consider their genuine demands, while asking them to join back immediately.
The government has also asked the authorities in every district of Kashmir valley to post all the migrant employees at the safer places and not send them on duties to vulnerable places. Security has been already beefed around the migrant colonies, and all arrangements are being put in place for their safety and they are not being allowed to move out from these secure clusters.
The government has also directed police to visit those localities in Kashmir valley especially in Srinagar city where non migrant Pandits and Sikhs are residing to have a constant vigil in these areas.
Meanwhile, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who recently visited Jammu and asked the cadres to work more on the ground, reacted to the killings on Friday and has said that these killings are being done to instill fear in the minds of people and try to force the minority communities to migrate.
Already, special teams from Delhi are in Srinagar and the NIA has been conducting raids and also probing these recent killings. The authorities have detained hundreds of persons in Kashmir valley and are investigating these cases.
Most of the political parties and leaders in Kashmir have said that the arrests in such a random manner show that instead of taking political initiatives, the central government wants to put the majority community in Kashmir in the dock as even those teachers were recently detained who had helped the non-Muslim teachers reach secure accommodations by taking huge risks.

Sunday Guardian

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