Srinagar: After the recent killings of people from minority communities, there is a sense of fear among them and some of them are seriously mulling to migrate and most of them are those families who have lived in Kashmir through the most turbulent years.
While the people of Kashmir have condemned these killings along with the mainstream political parties, common people and the politicians have been advocating a dialogue and roll back of all the decisions and the laws passed to Jammu and Kashmir, including the decision to reduce the J&K into two Union Territories.
The Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP has demanded resignation of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha because of the alarming situation and the killing of people belonging to minority communities. According to media reports, the central government has decided to act tough on the ground in Kashmir and has dispatched counter-militancy experts to take charge for the situation to get normal by neutralizing them quickly.
Former Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah rushed to the family of Satinder Kour, the school principal who was killed, and said that it is the collective responsibility of majority Muslim community to instill confidence among the minority communities here so that they live without fear. He said that “when we expect from the majority Hindu community in the rest of the country to keep our children safe, we must also come forward and try to save them and give them an atmosphere where they live with dignity here”.
The J&K administration is coming under severe criticism for not even arranging for the body of a person from Bihar who was killed in Kashmir. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took to twitter and said, “What a shame that no one in the J&K government saw it fit to help the family of Virendra Paswan get back to Bihar with his body. J&K must have spent lakhs of rupees on hospitality for MPs and ministers, but couldn’t find any money for this.”
While the central government and the J&K administration are still trying to see the situation as a law and order problem, local politicians from Kashmir have cautioned the BJP government to come out from the “phase of arrogance and see reason” in Kashmir. Sajad Lone, a former minister and chief of Peoples Conference, in a tweet said, “A very humble unsolicited advice to the state administration. Please be careful. Get off ur (your) high horse. Talk to people who have been around for decades. Seems we r (are) in for some challenging times. I can c (see) a tipping point. Try to evade it. Every passing day will get challenging.”
Following the recent killings in Kashmir, after a series of meetings, especially in the Union Home Ministry, the BJP government at the Centre has decided to take charge on the ground and probably J&K police will only assist them in the counter-militancy operations.
According to the news reports from New Delhi in various media outlets, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has passed strict instructions to the different security agencies operating in Kashmir to normalize the situation and bust all the terrorist rings which have been active in Srinagar and other parts especially after the fall of Kabul on 15 August this year.
These reports said that Intelligence Bureau’s head of CT operations Tapan Deka, along with many other teams from other national security agencies, have reached Kashmir to take charge on the ground as the local BJP leaders have blamed police and the politicians for the present mess in the situation.
There were reports in the section of media about the coming of groups from across the border and also about the air-dropping of weapons, as the security agencies have also suggested in the recent past that pistols were being dropped by the drones to this side of the border.
However, senior security experts have already said that even the US weapons captured by Taliban like the sniper rifles etc. could reach Kashmir before the snowfall and the Union Home Ministry in the latest meeting has taken such reports seriously and has also gone through all the reports and suggestions to act on the ground in Kashmir valley.
Already under fire from the BJP leaders, mainstream political leaders in Kashmir valley have strongly condemned the killings of minority communities. Srinagar MP and PAGD chief Farooq Abdullah visited the bereaved family of Makhan Lal Bindroo and expressed shock over such killings. Similarly, former Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, while demanding the resignation of L-G Sinha, visited the family of Bindroo and blamed the BJP government at the Centre for all these killings.
In the past few days, suddenly five civilians belonging to the minority community were killed in Kashmir valley, while civilians from the majority community like Mohammad Shafi Lone, Mohammad Shafi Dar and Majid Ahmad Gojri were also killed by terrorists on the charge of being close to security agencies.
Sanjay Tickoo, who is the head of Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), told this newspaper that the situation is worsening for them and there is a lot of insecurity among all the 808 Hindu families who have been living here since 1990.
“The killing of Bindroo and two other minority community members has made our lives vulnerable and we do not feel safe. The situation is as good as it was in 1990, when most of us decided to migrate,” Sanjay Tickoo further said.
Mainstream political parties of Kashmir, who have been demanding restoration of Article 370, have said that these civilians’ killings have exposed the BJP government’s narrative of normalcy in Kashmir. They have said that under the garb of security, the central government has been pushing the common people in Kashmir to the wall and have passed laws for the collective punishment of Kashmiri Muslims.
BJP has blamed them for creating an atmosphere so that minority communities are attacked in Kashmir and have also blamed the police for security lapses leading to such killings. J&K police being under attack for being lax on the ground have appealed to the minority communities in Kashmir not to panic and have said that very soon, such rings of killers would be busted.
According to a police statement released to the media in Srinagar, they have said that in the current year, so far 28 civilians have been killed by terrorists. Out of them, five persons from the local Hindu and Sikh communities and also two non-local Hindu laborers have been killed; however, 23 remaining civilians in the police statement belong to majority Muslim community of Kashmir.
“It is not just another brutal murder of one more member of the minority Hindu community in Kashmir. It is a brutal assassination and is the murder of trust, love, affection, faith and hope,” said Girdhari Lal Raina, spokesperson of BJP in Jammu and Kashmir.