Valley of Terrorism

Once again, attempts by Kashmiri Pandits to flee the Valley are proof of the failure of the security system.

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According to reports, ten Kashmiri Pandit families from Choudharygund village in Shopian district left the village and reached Jammu. After the two targeted killings in the last two weeks, there is so much fear among the people living there that they left the village along with the family. That village of Kashmiri Pandits is now empty.

Locals say the targeted killings have also instilled fear among those who were living in their ancestral homes there after the 1990-year exodus. Kashmiri Pandits have been demanding their security for a long time. They are sitting on dharna. The government gives them assurances, but the process of targeted killing is not stopping, due to which there is fear in them. The situation is such that terrorists target Kashmiri Pandits and kill them anywhere in their shop, office, house, market, garden etc. In this way, the purpose of their rehabilitation seems to have been marginalized somewhere. The Kashmiri Pandits’ organisation has been demanding for several months that they be allowed to move to safer places.

About thirty-two years ago, Kashmiri Pandits had fled the Valley and taken shelter in a camp in Jammu because they were being targeted and killed. Meanwhile, many governments changed at the Centre and in the state, everyone’s promise was that Kashmiri Pandits would be rehabilitated. Efforts were also made for this. A place was made for them in government jobs in the Valley, instilling in them the confidence of returning to their ancestral homes.

In this way, many families returned to their villages. But now that the same conditions have appeared before them again, they see no other way but to migrate. Several times in the last three months, some Kashmiri families secretly tried to flee in the dark of night, but they were stopped by the security forces. It is said that despite that many families have migrated. Those who are living there also want to go to a safe place. The re-migration of Kashmiri Pandits is in a way a morale booster for terrorist organisations. Their aim is to target outsiders and drive them out of the Valley and put pressure on the government.

Although the government has been claiming that terrorism has been eliminated to a great extent from the valley, the reality is that terrorist organizations are challenging the security system by making new strategies. A close watch is kept on them, yet they are able to carry out their conspiracies. Of course, they are not able to commit any major incident, but they are posing a challenge to the security system by resorting to targeted violence.

There are reports of terrorists being killed in encounters every day, yet their presence remains. For example, on Wednesday, a terrorist was killed by security forces while trying to infiltrate along the Line of Control in Kupwara district, on the other hand, there were reports of an encounter between terrorists and security forces from Baramulla. In such a situation, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits raises questions on the government’s strategy as to why it is not able to deal with terrorism in the Valley and provide security to Kashmiri Pandits living there.

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