Two non-locals, including a bank manager from Rajasthan, were shot dead by militants in two attacks in the Valley on Thursday, triggering a fresh wave of migration of Kashmiri Pandit employees from Kashmir.
A pistol-wielding militant gunned down the manager, Vijay Kumar, in Kulgam, the ninth targeted killing since May 1. The ultra entered Ellaquai Dehati Bank in the Arreh area and fired at the manager, killing him on the spot. Kumar had joined the Kulgam branch only a week ago. He was earlier working with the Kokernag branch of the bank, co-owned by the Central government, the J&K administration and the SBI.
Hours after the killing, two non-local labourers — Guri from Punjab and Khushdil (17) from Bihar — were shot at by militants in the Magraypora area of Chadoora in Budgam district. Khushdil succumbed to his injuries while Guri’s condition is stated to be stable.
Minutes after the bank manager was shot dead, migrant Kashmiris took a call to leave the Valley en masse. “The protests across the Valley have been called off with immediate effect as the lives of the minorities are becoming unsafe with each passing day. They are left with no option but to migrate,” said Amit Raina, coordinator of the protesting employees, in a statement.
Employees living at transit camps guarded by security personnel have decided to leave for Jammu, said Raina.
Meanwhile, the police officials guarding the transit camps have been asked to monitor the situation and keep the higher authorities informed about the migration of employees.
“We have been asked to keep top officials in the loop about the migration of Pandits,” a police officer told.
Two days ago, Rajni Bala, a Hindu woman teacher from Samba was shot dead by terrorists at a government school in Gopalpora, Kulgam. On May 12, Rahul Bhat, a clerk, was shot dead inside the tehsildar’s office in Chadoora, Budgam. Of the eight targeted killings in Kashmir since May 1, three victims were off-duty policemen and five were civilians.
Some 4,500 employees under the PM’s special employment scheme for migrants have dismantled the tents at transit camps where they were protesting. Some employees will leave on Friday morning and others on Sunday, said sources.
Nearly 50 per cent of the 350 migrant families left the Baramulla transit camp after Bala’s killing, said Avtar Krishan Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit leader.
Bhat’s killing triggered a major protest in Kashmir, the first of such intensity since the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Targeted killing of non-Muslims in 8 months
- June 2, 2022: Bank manager from Rajasthan, worker from Bihar shot
- May 31: Teacher Rajni Bala from Samba shot in Kulgam
- May 17: Wine shop employee of Jammu dies in grenade attack
- May 12: Rahul Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit clerk, shot in Budgam
- April 13: Satish Singh, a Rajput driver, gunned down in Kulgam
- Oct 17, 2021: Two non-local labourers shot dead in Kulgam
- Oct 16: Arvind, a vendor from Bihar, killed in Srinagar
- Oct 7: School principal Supinder Kour, KP teacher Deepak Chand shot in Srinagar
- Oct 5: ML Bindroo, a chemist, shot in Srinagar; an hour later, vendor Virender from Bihar shot