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Are KPs being rehabilitated Or annihilated?

14 Jun 2022

Are KPs being rehabilitated Or annihilated?
—Er. P.L. Khushu
Yet another brutal killing of a young Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat, working in the office of Tehsildar Chadroo, in the district Badgam of Kashmir. He was shot dead inside the main office premises of the Tehsil Office on 13thMay,2022, in broad day light, under the very nose of others working in that office, of course being mostly the Muslim employees. 
The lured terrorists barged into the office and shot from a close-range Rahul Bhat, working under Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation Package (PMRP), as a clerk. What a pathos?  He was immediately referred to a Srinagar hospital where doctors declared him dead.As per Press information the slain body of Rahul Bhat reached Sheikhpora,  Budgam,  migrant colony in the evening. 
A pall of gloom descended on the other Kashmiri Pandits employees and their relatives with them, residing at the Sheikhpora colony, constructed for the migrant employees.  The Police authorities of Kashmir maintained that militants responsible for the killing have been identified and are named as  Aqib Sher Gojri, a new recruit, and Lateef Ahmad Rather, a recycled militant after he was released from jail. They said that they are from Lashkar-e-Toiba and barged into the Tehsil office and shot Bhat using a pistol. 
It is a welcome statement by the authorities of Kashmir Police that they have nabbed the terrorists within hours of the sad incident. May be, it speaks volumes about the alertness of the security forces about the nabbing of the militants responsible for this sad attack.  But alas it equally raises questions about such alertness of the security forces, as such an alertness has been shown by the security forces, after the irreparable event of the murder of a young man.  It raises enough of eye brows on the efficacy and promptness, as also laxity on the part of security forces to protect such KP migrant employees, while working in all such hazardous and Jehadi atmospheres and circumstances.  So is the case with the head of the Tehsil office where Rahul was working and his colleagues working with him around.  They did nothing possible to save this young KP employee, being their colleague, from this gruesome attack.  Or was he a thorn in their foot as an outsider being a Kashmiri Pandit, as KPs have been driven out under the force of the gun by the pan-Islamic fundamentalists almost 32 years back.
It appears that Kashmiri Pandits are now becoming easy ducks for the Islamic Jehadi cult in Kashmir, which is fully prevailing in Kashmir, in lieu of their so-called slogans of dignified rehabilitation back in Kashmir after the 32 years of their forced exile.  Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation Package (PMRP) for the KPs became a death trap for Rahul Bhat, who was working just as a clerk under this rehabilitation scheme of the Prime Minister of India for the migrant Kashmiri Pandits.  Another brutal killing of such a nature was of  a Kashmiri Pandit  Sh.  Rakesh Pandita, the President of Municipal Committee Tral, which was done by Jehadis at Tral, on 2ndJune-2021, after another  gruesome killing of Ajay Pandita a Kashmiri Pandit and a sarpanch at Larkipora, Anantnag, who  was shot dead by unidentified terrorists at Lokbawan in Anantnag on 8thJune-2020.
A dormant question arises as to what is the remedy for all such killings of Kashmiri Pandits. Another question comes to surface as to why Kashmiri Pandits are killed in the valley who somehow manage to either get a government job under certain central government rehabilitation packages for the KPs, or try to go back to the valley, presuming that the security scenario has improved a lot as per the often repeated statements of the government and that too from much higher levels like the ministry of home affairs government of India, when the situation is otherwise.  
Such gruesome killings of the young and brilliant Kasmiri Pandits in Kashmir have left the Kashmiri Pandit community across the country and outside in a deep shock. This new terror onslaught on a young community member reminds us about the mass killings and mass exodus of Kashmir Pandits in 1990, due to terrorism. This young Kashmiri Pandit martyr joins our other distinguished personalities who were martyred decades back in a similar manner.  On 14 September, 1989, Pandit Tika Lal Taploo, who was a prominent leader of KPs, was murdered by the JKLF in Srinagar.  Prominent lawyer Sh. Prem Nath Bhat was gunned down on 27thDecember,1989, in South Kashmir.  Pt. Nilkanth Ganjoo, an imminent judge   who had sentenced Maqbul Bhat to death, was shot dead, when other prominent Kashmiri Pandits of repute were also killed brutally.
Several prominent intelligence officers were assassinated, over the course of January.  On 2ndFebruary, 1990, Satish Tikoo, a young Hindu Pandit social-worker, was murdered near his own house in Habba Kadal.  On 13 February, 1990, Lassa Kaul, Station Director of Srinagar Doordarshan, was shot dead. This is only a small tale of KPs who were killed brutally, because of being Kashmiri Pandits. The worst carnage of genocide of Kashmiri Pandits occurred  in  March, 1997, when terrorists dragged out seven Kashmiri Pandits from their houses in Sangrampora village and gunned them down. It was followed by killing of about 23 Kashmiri Pandits, including women and children, in 1998, when they were  shot in cold blood in Wandhama Village. Again, In March, 2003, about 24 Kashmiri Pandits, including infants, were brutally shot dead in the Nadimarg Village. 
What is happening? Where is the appropriate security apparatus for the protection of the life Kashmiri Pandit migrant employees serving in Kashmir, when they are prone to any terror attack, due to their nude exposure to service conditions of their employment circumstances. With their conditions of appointment in the government sector, a stern barrier has been kept that such migrant employees shall have to work in the valley only. In the event of their abstaining from such duties due to terror threats etc, they will be dismissed from their appointments.  Such migrant employees cannot be transferred outside the Kashmir province under any circumstance, which is a virulent condition in their appointment in the valley. These Kashmiri Pandit employees serving in the valley are living like slaves at the mercy of their own fates when the security cover provided to them is a general security cover, which is for namesake only. Hon’ble lieutenant governor very recently said that the administration is committed to the rehabilitation of internally displaced Kashmiri Pandits and is working in tandem with the Centre was to take them back to Kashmir. “More than 6,000 jobs and 6,000 homes were to be given and built respectively for the return of the displaced Pandits in Kashmir. The target was fixed long ago by the government of India, but due to some reasons, we have not been able to fulfil them. However, we are committed to fulfil the promise and we hope to do so by June,” he said. 
Such statements from the highest power corridors are appreciable and encouraging for the KPs’ return to their original places of livings in Kashmir. But it looks like a joke as the government is not able to give security to individual Kashmiri Pandit employees, what can be the fate of thousands of them, under the present provisions of the security apparatus for the Kashmir Pandit employees in Kashmir.  It might amount to throwing pigeons to cats. These may be the statements only or the political purposes of the ruling party. It is a herculean task for the government to do it, in the light of the mass terrorist bases in Kashmir, as is evident. Almost daily the security forces face one or the other encounter with the terrorists at different locations in the valley. The second big conspiracy behind such killings of KPs is to kill a Kashmiri Pandit, whereever you see him in the valley. At the same time, it is a brazen rejoinder to Kashmiri Pandits that if you return to Kashmir in any form or manner you will be killed.  
Presumably, the ruling political dispensation in Delhi thinks that enough has changed in Jammu & Kashmir, with the nullification of Article 370 and the like. The changes, if any, are on paper only. Probably the ground reality is the same, at least for the Kashmiri Pandits. The present ruling political dispensation in Delhi may be satisfied with such an action of theirs, as it was their election manifesto commitment to the nation. But how does it accord any solution to KPs displacement and their brutal killings, along with the loss of their home and hearths? Such brutal killings of KPs in Kashmir deserves an impartial probe and action, particularly at least through the agency of NIA. Proper security cover should have been provided immediately to KPs who are still in Kashmir, for various compulsions. It would restore the confidence of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits scattered across India. It would exhibit that some concern is being shown for their safe return to valley, by the authorities in governance. 
It is now a full-fledged ethnic cleansing of the Pandits from the valley? Is someone in the governance particularly the ministry of home affairs observing it? What is the remedy? Do they want to retain Kashmir at the cost of the cleansing of KPs from Kashmir? The writing is on the wall. Let the government of the day meet this challenge with resolute might and force. KPs are the aboriginal residents of Kashmir. They will go back to Kashmir at all costs. Government of India has to keep it in mind that no solution will be perpetual for Jammu & Kashmir unless Kashmiri Pandits do not get their due which is a “Home Land” for them within Kashmir, their mother land, with full security. It is their fundamental right and fundamental demand. At the same time, it is the fundamental and a constitutional responsibility of the government to ensure it as early as possible. Does it need further consensus?  Why so. There can be no other alternative to it. If it is not done immediately the so-called sloganeering of the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits  back in Kashmir may  result in the  annihilation of KPs. n
(The writer is a chartered consultant civil engineer, who loves his mother land, the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir).