The unprompted, brutal and selective killings of civilians belonging to the minority communities of J&K has sent shockwaves across India. The J&K administration has upped the ante on security in the valley, deployed additional forces and even eliminated those responsible for striking terror while lining up hundreds of anti-national suspects. But the sudden spike in targeted killings is a terrifying reminder of the horrors faced by the minorities in the Valley in late 80s and 90s.
In wake of the civilian killings that go unabated in the valley, a faction of the Muslim community is speaking up against the atrocities. Two Kashmiri mosques in downtown Srinagar on Friday after the weekly sermons appealed to the Muslims, which are in majority in the valley, to stand in solidarity with Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs.
These mosques announced that it is the "moral and religious duty" of Srinagar Muslims to protect lives of KP minorities and Sikhs. The president Kashmiri Pandit Sangaresh Samithi (KPSS) Sanjay Tickoo says this voice of solidarity will only spread across Kashmir in the days to come.
Why terrorists are threatened by "Naya Kashmir"
The 'Naya Kashmir' project involves rebuilding the Valley, opening it for the country and world, and resettling the displaced Kashmiri Pandits (KPs). As part of resettling of the KPs, the Centre has taken several measures, like providing jobs for the KP youth under the PM Package, building housing societies for those who take up the jobs, launching a website for easy access to get the domicile certificates and lately launching the migrants' distress sales portal.
The portal launched by Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on September 7 provides a platform for Kashmiri migrants, the KPs in particular, to file complaints for immovable properties which were encroached upon or ones that were disposed of in distress sales in the 1990s. The LG said that during the trial run of the portal, they received 854 grievances, which showed that a large number of the migrant families were awaiting justice.
After the abrogation of Article 370, and the downward trend in civilian killings, stone pelting and bomb attacks, migrants had been planning to return to the Valley and reclaiming their properties valued in crores of rupees now.
Of late, videos of temples opening, KP families praying and singing in their homes, processions being taken through Srinagar streets on Janmashtami have gone viral in the Valley. Many within the KP community felt it was perhaps time to go back. As per the Centre's data, after the abrogation of Article 370, a total of 520 migrants have returned to take up the jobs. A few thousand are said to be living in Kashmir.
(Additional agency inputs included)