As attacks escalated, Kashmiri Pandits were forced to migrate

Wednesday 13th October 2021 07:03 EDT

Attacks on Pandits are on the rise in Kashmir. Seven Hindus have been killed in recent past, including four Hindus. Many Kashmiri Pandits have started migrating out of fear for their own safety. This information has been provided by the organization of Kashmiri Pandits.

The group said many Pandits were leaving the Kashmir Valley and heading for Jammu. While the administration said that Hindus and other Kashmiri minority employees have been given 10 days leave. A principal and a teacher at a government school in Srinagar were recently shot dead. A total of seven civilians have been killed in this manner in five days. Kashmiri pundits fear another major attack like the 1990s. Following which they have started migrating.

In Srinagar, on the other hand, school principal Supinder Kaur and teacher Deepak Chand were shot dead. Many people attended the funeral of these two. The two were bade farewell by the people with tears in their eyes while demanding action against the accused. A large number of Kashmiri Pandits and members of the Sikh community gathered. While the number of murders is on the rise, many questions are being raised about the safety of civilians.

Sikh principal, Pandit teacher killed

Terrorists shot dead a woman school principal from the Kashmiri Sikh community and a Kashmiri Pandit teacher after demanding to see their identity cards inside a government-run campus in the city’s Eidgah locality. The killings come two days after a prominent Kashmiri Pandit businessman of the city and a migrant roadside vendor from Bihar were gunned down within hours of each other.

Three pistol-wielding terrorists barged into Sangam Eidgah Boys’ Higher Secondary School and singled out 44-year-old Supinder Kour and her colleague Deepak Chand after confirming who among the staff were from any community other than Kashmiri Muslims, eyewitnesses said. Both were escorted out of the building and shot multiple times before the assailants walked out of the campus, they said. Chand died instantly while Kour died on way to hospital.

LeT affiliate claims its role

Pakistan-backed Lashkare-Taiba affiliate The Resistance Front (TRF) claimed responsibility for the killings, and said these had nothing to do with the victims’ religion. “Our fight is to safeguard our freedom...Domicile holders, stooges and collaborators, regardless of religion, are enemies of the Kashmir struggle and will not be spared,” it said, specifying that the school principal and her colleague had been targeted because they pressured students to attend the Independence Day function on the campus on August 15.

NIA round up 430 OGWs

In a major crackdown on the terror ecosystem, the J&K police have detained more than 430 alleged overground workers (OGWs) associated with different terrorist outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed etc and are questioning them on their terror links and alleged supporting role in the recent attacks. The agency also conducted searches at eight locations in Srinagar and Anantnag districts and arrested three persons in another case.

In the targeted killings case, the suspected OGWs were picked up from across the Valley, prominently Srinagar, Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian. One of those detained is a prominent drugs supplier based in Srinagar. As per a preliminary investigation, the local terrorists behind the killings were mostly neo-recruits or ‘hybrid’ terrorists lured by handlers, including from Pakistan, with drugs or money to carry out one-off attacks with pistols supplied by the latter. Incidentally, many of the OGWs picked up by J&K police appear to be addicts, said a source.

JCO and four soldiers die in gunfight

A junior commissioned officer (JCO) was among five Army personnel killed in a gunfight with a group of terrorists holed up in a hideout at Surankote in the frontier Jammu district of Poonch on Monday, making this the highest number of casualties suffered by the armed forces in a single encounter in J&K this year.

By evening, the operation to smoke out the terrorists had spread beyond the initially targeted hideout in the forested Chamrer area of Surankote to adjoining Bhangai village of Rajouri district. "The operational area is the same. The terrorists moved to the other frontier location to possibly escape being hemmed in by the advancing security forces. Till we last received information (around 9.30pm), the operation was underway," an official said.

The Army couldn’t immediately confirm if any of the terrorists had been killed. The slain JCO, Naib Subedar Jaswinder Singh, and two of the four soldiers killed in action - Naik Mandeep Singh and sepoy Gajjan Singh - were from Punjab. The other two, sepoys Saraj Singh and Vaisakh H, were from UP and Kerala respectively. Since January, eight Army personnel have died fighting terrorists in Jammu division alone. Three others were killed in ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control.

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