Protests Erupt at Jammu and Kashmir Over Killing of Kashmiri Pandit

Protests erupted in several parts of Jammu and Kashmir since Thursday evening amid the killing of a 36-year old government employee
Protests Erupt at Jammu and Kashmir Over Killing of Kashmiri Pandit
Protests Erupt at Jammu and Kashmir Over Killing of Kashmiri Pandit

Protests erupted in several parts of Jammu and Kashmir since Thursday evening amid the killing of a 36-year old government employee who was a Kashmiri Pandit. The Kashmiri Pandits demanded safety of the community.

police fired tear gas shells after a group of Kashmiri Pnadits tried to march towards Srinagar airport.

Members of the community left their transit camps, blocked roads and raised slogans against the central government and BJP at several areas of Jammu and Kashmir.

Over four thousand Kashmiri Pandits are living in transit camps in varous parts of Kashmir after they were given government jobs under a special employment package launched in 2010.

Slogans have been raised by the protestors against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. Candle light marches were also held in several places.

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The 36-year-old had been working in Budgam district for the past 10 years after his appointment under a special package to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits. His body was taken to Jammu for last rites.

Rahul Bhat is the third Kashmiri Pandit to be killed in the past six months. Two others have been injured, reported NDTV.

Targeted killings in Kashmir started in October. The victims were mostly migrant workers who came in search of jobs and Kashmiri Pandits.

In October, seven civilians were killed in five days -- among them a Kashmiri Pandit, a Sikh and two migrant Hindus.

Shortly after, many Kashmiri Pandit families fled their homes in Sheikhpora - home to the minority community.

Rahul Bhat's killing has yet again brought to the fore the challenges to rehabilitating the Kashmiri Pandit community.

While the government has announced several schemes and made appeals to the members of the community to come back to the Valley, repeated attacks on Kashmiri Pandits raise the critical question of whether they will be safe if they return.

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