Marches, protests held in Valley over the targeted killing of Kashmiri Pandit | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Marches, protests held in Valley over the targeted killing of Kashmiri Pandit

By, Srinagar
Oct 17, 2022 04:16 AM IST

While the biggest candle light vigil was held in Shopian itself, similar marches were held in Srinagar, Bandipora, Baramulla, Ganderbal and Budgam districts.

A day after Kashmiri Pandit Puran Krishan Bhat was killed in Shopian district, protests were held across Kashmir valley on Sunday calling for a stop to the”bloodshed” and reiterating the demands of Pandit employees to be relocated from the region temporarily.

Local residents during a candlelight protest against Puran Krishan Bhat’s killing, in Srinagar on Sunday. (AP)
Local residents during a candlelight protest against Puran Krishan Bhat’s killing, in Srinagar on Sunday. (AP)

While the biggest candle light vigil was held in Shopian itself, similar marches were held in Srinagar, Bandipora, Baramulla, Ganderbal and Budgam districts.

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Also Read: Kashmiri Pandit killed by terrorists in J&K's Shopian

Bhat, a fruit cultivator, was attacked on Saturday morning near his home in Chowdhary Gund area of Shopian district. Deputy inspector general of police (DIG), south Kashmir, Sujit Kumar, had said terror outfit Kashmir Freedom Fighters (KFF) claimed responsibility for the attack.

In Srinagar on Sunday, a group of pandits first held a candle light protest in Indra Nagar and later, another group held one at Lal Chowk.

Kashmir’s Divisional Commissioner, Pandurang K Pole, met the Kashmiri Pandits group at Indra Nagar to express grief over Bhat’s killing.

Condemning the attack, Pole said: “Killing unarmed, vulnerable and peace loving persons is nothing to be endorsed. He (Bhat) was in his 40s with two children, was living in Jammu and had come here for farming. He was killed unarmed. Civil society, traders’ bodies and shop keepers associations have condemned the killing of innocent civilians.”

He added that terrorism was on the brink of being wiped out in the region.

“I have been saying that terrorism is on the brink of getting wiped out. I am not saying it just to give you a boost, but statistics say so. The people’s attitude also says this. Hardly anyone new in joining (militancy),” he told the protesting group.

Noting that terrorists used to be active for 3-4 years, Pole added: “But now, if anyone joins owing to some misunderstanding, he reaches his logical conclusion within 2-3 months. In this scenario they don’t have much strength to respond to the actions of armed and police forces.”

The Kashmiri Pandit employees, however, reiterated their demand of relocation to Jammu till the “situation in Kashmir improves”.

Amit Koul, one of the protesters who met Pole, said the community, as well as government, were aware that the situation was not feasible for them to live in Kashmir.

“The situation is such that our brothers are getting killed. And there is no security for us, Hindus. We are not even sure whether we will return safely home after stepping out, how can we work in offices then? We told them to give us some time. The situation here is not feasible and the government also knows that. So we requested them to send us to Jammu or depute us...” Koul said.

“I have come here to stand in solidarity with my Pandit brothers and sisters. We don’t want innocent blood to be shed in Kashmir. Stop senseless killings,” said one protester at Lal Chowk.

Information and images of the protests were shared by the the government’s information department as well.

“People from all walks of life participated in peaceful candle March, expressed solidarity with the family of the deceased,” the department said in one tweet.

As the evening approached, candle light protests were held in North Kashmir’s Bandipora and Baramulla districts and in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal and Budgam districts.

“People from all walks of life including various Civil Society groups of Ganderbal participated in peaceful candle March against Killing Puran Krishan Bhat in Shopian yesterday. Also expressed solidarity with the family of the deceased,” said another government tweet.

Smaller protests were also reported from Kupwara, Anantnag and Kulgam districts later.

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