J&K: Fresh Protests Break Out In Baramulla Over Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat’s Killing

Srinagar: On Saturday, fresh protests broke out against the killing of Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat. Kashmiri Pandit government employees who are staying in Veerwan transit camp in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district, are demanding that they should be moved to Jammu.

A violent fight broke out between police and protesting Pandit employees.

On Thursday afternoon terrorists shot and killed Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat. He was an employee of the revenue department, in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir.

On May 13, two Pakistani terrorists who were involved in Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat’s killing were shot down by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in an encounter. The encounter took place in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Massive protests took place across Jammu and Kashmir yesterday night as Kashmiri Pandits demanded safety in the aftermath of the murder of a 36-year-old member of their community.

Members of the community left their transit camps, where they had been staying since their evacuation during the 1990 militancy wave, to block roadways and shout slogans against the central government, accusing it of failing them. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were also targeted with slogans.

Candlelight marches were also held in various locations.

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.

After being appointed under a special package to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits, the 36-year-old has been working there for the previous ten years.

His body is currently being transported to Jammu for last rituals.

In the last six months, Rahul Bhat is the third Kashmiri Pandit to be assassinated. Two more people were hurt.

In Kashmir, targeted killings began in October. Migrants looking for work and Kashmiri Pandits comprised the majority of the victims.

A Kashmiri Pandit, a Sikh, and two migrant Hindus were among the seven civilians killed in five days in October.

Many Kashmiri Pandit families were forced to flee their homes in Sheikhpora, a minority community.

The assassination of Rahul Bhat has once again highlighted the difficulties in rehabilitating the Kashmiri Pandit community.

While the government has established various programmes and made appealing to Kashmiri Pandits to return to the Valley, frequent attacks on them raise the key question of whether they would be safe if they do.

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