NEW DELHI: Amid growing calls for Kashmiri Pandit workers to be relocated to safer locations following a spate of targeted killings, the Jammu and Kashmir government has made it clear that the workers will not be relocated from the valley but to safer locations .
Officials also said the recent escalation in targeted terrorist violence would not lead to any change in plans for holding the annual Amarnath Yatra, scheduled from June 30 to August 11. The allegation comes in the wake of a spate of terrorist incidents, including the targeted killings of civilians.
One of the victims was Rahul Bhat. Bhat was a Kashmiri pandit migrant employed under a prime minister’s package. He was shot dead by terrorists on May 12 in his office in Chadoora in Budgam in central Kashmir. His brutal killing sparked demonstrations in various locations by around 6,000 employees demanding their resettlement outside the valley.
But officials have argued that the Jammu and Kashmir government cannot be involved in an “ethnic cleansing” planned from across the border by agreeing to demands from Kashmiri pandit workers to be transferred from the valley.
They also claimed that killing soft targets by terrorist groups would not stop them from holding the annual Amarnath Yatra. Over two lakh pilgrims have already signed up for the annual pilgrimage, they said.
The terrorist groups, who work on behalf of “countries fomenting terrorism,” are worried about the return to normalcy in the valley, and so soft targets are being targeted to scare the masses and sow chaos, they said.
The JK administration will not get bogged down by this, they said, exuding confidence that security forces would put an end to these targeted killings, as they did in October 2021, when terrorists carried out a series of targeted attacks, including on the celebrities Chemist ML Bindroo and a Sikh teacher.
Officials said the Amarnath Yatra is a symbol of Kashmir’s composite culture and will continue despite some threat perceptions being addressed. They said these targeted killings show that terrorist groups’ ability to attack protected targets has shrunk and therefore soft targets are attacked.
They said there was an evil plan behind these targeted killings and warned that the attacks were not aimed at creating a division between Hindus and Muslims, but at establishing a “Nizam” in the valley. For that, they can kill anyone who doesn’t follow their lineage, they said, pointing out that Muslims have also been killed by these groups.
Officials spoke about the prospects of holding elections on Union territory, saying it was a decision made only by the Electoral Commission. (PTI)
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