Recent spate of targeted killing of Hindus and non-Kashmiris by Islamic terrorists has triggered outrage and panic in the valley
Within 48 hours of the coldblooded murder of a Hindu teacher, Rajni Bala, from Jammu’s Samba district, posted in Kashmir Valley’s Kulgam, another Hindu Vijay Kumar was shot dead by Islamic terrorists.
Vijay Kumar, 22, a resident of Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district, was working as manager at the branch of Elaqahi Dehati Bank in Kulgam district of South Kashmir. He had moved to Kulgam recently.
The attack took place in the Arreh area of the district. He was rushed to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries. Bala was shot dead on May 31 outside her school in the Gopalpora village of Kulgam despite tightened security in the Valley for the protection of employees from outside Kashmir.
“Terrorists fired upon a bank employee (manager) at Ellaqie Dehati Bank at Areh Mohanpora in Kulgam district. He received grievous gunshot injuries in this terror incident. He is a resident of Hanumangarh, Rajasthan. Area cordoned off. Further details shall follow,” tweeted Jammu and Kashmir Police.
The killings triggered panic among the migrant Kashmiri Hindu employees, recruited under the Prime Minister’s special rehabilitation package, and the Hindu employees from Jammu recruited under the SC quota and posted in the Valley.
12 Hindus Killed in just 9 Months
June 2, 2022: Terrorists have killed Dilkhush, a labourer from Bihar in Kashmir’s Budgam. He was working at a brick kiln at Magraypora, Chadoora area of Budgam district.
June 2, 2022: Terrorists shot dead Vijay Kumar, manager of Elakahi Dehati Bank in Kulgam district in the Aareh area
May 31, 2022: Rajni Bala, a resident of Samba, was killed by terrorists outside the school in Gopalpora, South Kashmir
May 17, 2022: Terrorists hurled a grenade at the newly opened liquor shop in the Dewan Bagh area of Baramulla district. In this attack, 52-year-old Ranjit Singh died, and three people were badly injured
May 12 2022: Government employee Rahul Bhat was shot dead by terrorists inside Chadoora Tehsil office of Budgam
April 13, 2022: Satish Kumar Singh was killed by terrorists in Kulgam. He was immediately taken to the hospital but died. Satish, a resident of Kakran, was a driver by profession. After this incident, Lashkar-e-Islam issued a warning against Kashmiri Hindus, writing a ‘letter to the infidel’ saying that Kashmiri Hindus should either leave the Valley or they would be killed
April 4, 2022: Bal Krishna Bhat was killed by a terrorist near his house in Shopian
October 7, 2021: Arvind Kumar Sah of Bihar was also targeted by terrorists. Arvind ran a roadside eatery in the Valley
October 7, 2021: School Principal Supinder Kaur and a Kashmiri Hindu teacher Deepak Chand were assassinated inside a Government school in Srinagar
October 5, 2021: Makhan Lal Bindru, a Kashmiri Hindu, owner of Bindroo Medical Store in Iqbal Park, Srinagar, was shot dead by terrorists. On the same day, Virendra Paswan of Bihar, the sole bread earner in his family, was also killed by the terrorists. He ran a chaat stall in Srinagar
11 persons belonging to minority communities were killed by terrosists in J&K in 2021 (as per data of Home Ministry)
Recently, hundreds of Kashmiri Hindus protested in the Valley and blocked highways in Kulgam and Srinagar to press the demand for relocation from the Valley. There have been protests since Rahul Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit, was shot dead inside the magistrate’s office in Budgam on May 12.
After the brutal killing of Rahul Bhat, around 4,000 Kashmiri Hindus employed in the Valley under a Prime Minister’s rehabilitation package have threatened mass migration as they no longer feel safe.
Sudden Rise in Targeted Killings
Targeted attacks on migrant workers, nationalists and local minorities in the Valley started last year. In October, seven civilians were killed in just five days—among them a Kashmiri Pandit, a Sikh and two non-local Hindus.
The Valley has also seen a sudden spurt in attacks on non-local Hindu employees posted in the region. Since May 12, when a Kashmiri Hindu employee (Rahul Bhat) was killed inside his office at Budgam, four employees belonging to the Hindu community have been shot dead in the Valley.
‘Jammu & Kashmir administration should revisit overall situation. The traditional mechanism with regards to security module is not paying dividends. There is a deep feeling of insecurity among the nationalist people and minorities living in the Valley. Heads should roll both at micro and macro level’
— Surinder Ambardar Former MLC of Srinagar and BJP leader
The killings have rattled the J&K administration that is already grappling with protests by Kashmiri Hindu employees appointed under the Prime Minister’s package and posted in the Valley. Protesting Pandits have threatened to go on a mass migration if the Government fails to transfer them outside the Valley.
Speaking exclusively to Organiser, former MLC of Srinagar and BJP leader Surinder Ambardar said, “Jammu & Kashmir administration should revisit overall situation. The traditional mechanism with regards to security module is not paying dividends. There is a strong feeling of insecurity among the nationalist people and minorities living in the Valley.”
‘What we are witnessing today in Kashmir has never happened in the last more than two decades; failures after failures covered with optics of development has paved mainly a way for sustained militancy in Kashmir’
— Usman Majid, Vice President, Jammu Kashmir Apni Party
Calling upon the administration for action, he said, “Heads should roll both at micro and macro level.”
On the targeted killings, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said, “The security of the colonies and settlements of Kashmiri Hindus and other minorities has been increased. Any terrorist who has been involved in targeted killing has been killed and those who are alive will be neutralised soon.”
Vice-President of Jammu Kashmir Apni Party Usman Majid, while talking to Organiser, said, “I strongly condemn the barbaric killings of Vijay Kumar and Rajni Bala. What we are witnessing today in Kashmir has never happened in the last more than two decades; failures after failures covered with optics of development has paved mainly a way for sustained militancy in Kashmir. Such malpractices must stop, and GOI should wake up and hold people at the helm of affairs responsible and accountable for the current crisis.”
According to him, history is being repeated with “this saddening episode going around”. “Again Kashmiri Pandits are being forced to migrate, but this time there are no announcements on the streets of Kashmir as was the case in the 90’s, but one thing which is common between the two is that again today J&K is governed by a Governor. This is time to introspect and see what went wrong and how we can defeat those who want to make Kashmir again a hell,” he added.
In a statement issued after the killing of the bank manager, Islamist outfit Kashmir Freedom Fighters has claimed the responsibility of the murder. “Anyone involved in the demographic change of Kashmir will meet the same fate. So it’s an eye-opener for all those non-locals who are living in fool’s paradise that the Modi-led Govt will settle them here. It is nothing but just an illusion for them and they should now understand the reality that it will cost them their lives. Think it’s not too late otherwise next turn will be yours,” read the statement.
Meanwhile, the administration has been making all-out efforts to reach out to Hindus to stay put in the wake of warning by some sections of Hindus to leave the Valley for good. The Government has stepped up security and monitoring.