J&K: Kashmiri Pandit organization seeks judicial intervention in recent killings
Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS)—a Kashmiri Pandit organization—approached the Chief Justice of Jammu & Kashmir High Court Pankaj Mithal on Friday, requesting his intervention in providing security to the minority population in the union territory in light of recent killings. It claimed the government failed to protect the lives of religious minorities in Kashmir Valley and refused to allow them to leave despite protests.
- The development comes amid a spike in civilian killings in the Kashmir Valley over the last few months.
- The Valley has witnessed nearly 20 targeted killings, including those of police officials, teachers, and sarpanches.
- Notably, the terrorists mainly targeted Kashmiri Pandits and laborers from outside J&K.
- Home Minister Amit Shah is also scheduled to hold a critical meeting on J&K's security scenario today.
"Kashmiri Pandits have been protesting since May 12, against the killings of the religious minorities in the Valley but the government failed them (sic)," reads the letter, a copy of which is with NewsBytes. "On May 31, a minority employee was killed by the terrorist in Kulgam causing more fear in the community...but the government is not allowing them to leave (sic)," it added.
The KPSS alleged that the administration was aware of the unfavorable security situation for the religious minorities in Kashmir. It said due to the situation some blue-eyed persons managed the posting of their kith and kin outside the Valley. However, other members were made to work in the Valley without any proper security cover resulting in brutal killings by the terrorists.
The KPSS has invoked Article 21 of the Indian Constitution which guarantees the Right to Life in the letter to Mithal. It said the J&K administration and Centre's failure to protect the lives of the minorities in Kashmir and not allowing them to leave the region has created a distressing atmosphere. The body demanded a thorough investigation alleging some vested interest is involved too.
The KPSS has requested the Chief Justice to intervene and take suo moto cognizance of the matter to save lives. It also requested policy clarity from the government adding a judicially overseen probe is a must into targeted killings. The KPSS has also sought action against officers engaged in lapses and transfers prior to May 2022, done at the request of some blue-eyed individuals.
On Wednesday, terrorists killed a Hindu bank manager in his office in Kulgam. Hours later, two migrant laborers were shot in central Kashmir. One of them eventually died in the hospital. Terrorists also killed a Hindu school teacher on Tuesday. Last week, terrorists also shot dead three off-duty police officers and a television actress, all of whom were Muslims, in three separate incidents.
The killings in Kashmir have intensified calls by Kashmiri Pandits to ensure their security. Many have started to leave the Valley amid a lockdown in the camps where they stay. "We are all scared. There is a security failure in Kashmir. We implore the LG (Lieutenant Governor) to let us leave for Jammu," said a member of the community in an SOS video.