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Kashmiri Pandit Group KPSS Calls for Replacing LG After Fresh Targeted Killing

Anees Zargar |
Sanjay Tickoo, who heads KPSS, in a statement also sought serious action against those involved in the killings.
Kashmiri Pandits

File Photo: A protest by Kashmiri Pandits after targeted killings in the Valley.
Image Credit: PTI

Srinagar: Prominent rights advocacy group for Kashmiri Hindus, the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), has urged the Union government to replace the current Lt Governor of the Jammu and Kashmir Union territory for failing to protect the minorities against targeted killings. 

Sanjay Tickoo, who heads the KPSS, in a statement issued on Monday called for serious action against those involved in the killings adding that many in the majority Muslim community were also complicit in the violence. 

The activist said that the perpetrators of the violence in the region were attempting to enforce immigration of religious minorities like in the early 1990s, when tens of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave the region in the aftermath of outbreak of insurgency. 

"Raliv, Galiv ya Chaliv (convert, die or leave) a modus-operandi initiated by the Radical Kashmiris to establish Islamic Doctrine in Kashmir continues and is reverberated by every Kashmiri Pandit killing which is happening in Kashmir and the irony is that it is the same society which worries about peace produced countless killing machines to annihilate Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir," Tickoo said.

Tickoo has been critical of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)-led administration for failing to acknowledge the problems and issues of the Kashmiri Pandit community. He added that the decisions taken by the Government of India in August 2019 have "exposed" the Kashmiri society and its social fabric.

The KPSS statement also mentioned names of top militants, including Sajad Gul, Ashiq Nengroo, Arjamand Gulzar alias Burhan Hamza and Rayees Mir for their alleged involvement in the killings. 

 "KPSS most humbly with folded hands request Hon’ble Prime Minister and Hon’ble Home Minister to rest their personal agendas and self-conceit and take the issue seriously and replace the current Lt. Governor immediately for letting the Kashmiri Pandits to be killed...," the statement read.

The KPSS urged the authorities to launch a "brutal operation" against militants and their local aides to what they said would safeguard the innocent population. 

The fresh concern amongst the community members was caused by the targeted killing of an armed security guard, Sanjay Sharma, by militants in Achan village of Pulwama on Sunday. The community has since last year demanded relocation of their government postings outside the Valley in the wake of the violence. 

The Sunday attack was widely condemned by political parties, including National Conference (JKNC), People's Conference and People's Democratic Party (PDP). The killing was also condemned by the Hurriyat Conference, led by an incarcerated leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, arguing that "in the prevailing coercive environment with no space for outreach, contact among communities and people is also fast disappearing."

Condemning Sharma's killing, the group expressed sympathies and condolences with the bereaved family. "The killing of human beings in such a manner is a tragedy that Kashmir has been witnessing for the past three and a half decades now, with no seeming end in the near future," the party statement read. 

President of the PDP, Mehbooba Mufti, who visited the victim's family for condolences, also criticised the government for failing to provide security to the minorities in the union territory. 

"Instead of promoting films sowing hatred, it would help if GOI actually secured lives of minorities in J&K. Request LG admin to immediately provide a government job to the victim’s wife. Appeal our Muslim community to do whatever little they can to make them feel safer," she tweeted.

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