AAP chief adds another chapter in fight over Pandits

Rahul Bhat, who had got the job of a clerk under the special employment package for migrants in 2010-11, was gunned down by terrorists inside the tehsil office in Chadoora town on May 12.

Published: 17th May 2022 08:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th May 2022 08:17 AM   |  A+A-

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a virtual press conference, in New Delhi. (Photo | PTI)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday urged the central government to ensure the safety of Kashmiri Pandits, in the wake of protests triggered by the killing of a tehsil office employee in Budgam last week.

Rahul Bhat, who had got the job of a clerk under the special employment package for migrants in 2010-11, was gunned down by terrorists inside the tehsil office in Chadoora town on May 12. Following the incident, many Pandit associations and groups came out on the streets in protest in J&K, and were restricted by the police.

“The country is worried. Why are Kashmiri Pandits still not safe? A lot of them had been sent under a PM package. After this incident, all of them are scared,” Kejriwal said in the briefing.On the protests being curbed, he said, “We shouldn’t fire teargas shells and lathi-charge them. I urge Centre to ensure safety and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits. The terrorists be warned, India won’t tolerate attacks on the Kashmiri Pandit community.”

The police had resorted to teargas shelling and lathi-charge after a group of Kashmiri Pandit protesters allegedly tried to proceed from Budgam to the Srinagar airport on Friday. Kejriwal also demanded the immediate termination of the officers responsible for the action.

“How will Kashmiri Pandits residing in other states think of returning to Kashmir if they don’t feel safe? This is not the time for politics but for the country,” he said. Bhat was the second Kashmiri Pandit to be killed in seven months, after Makhan Lal Bindroo, who was shot dead in October last year.

‘Terrified Pandits met with brute force’
“After this incident, all Kashmiri Pandits living in the region are completely terrified. When these people set out to protest to voice their anger against the brutal killing, they were met with brute force.  They were stopped. Their voices were suppressed. They had to face teargas shelling and lathi-charge. They were locked inside their own colony. Why? This is not right at all. The officers behind this action must be suspended immediately,” he said. 



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