Fear psychosis continues to haunt minorities in Valley

Govt fails to take security measures

Avtar Bhat

JAMMU, Oct 11: With the increasing killings of their community members in last two weeks in different parts of Valley, fear psychosis continues to haunt over 642 Kashmiri Pandit and hundreds of Sikh families putting up in various places in trouble -torn Valley who stayed their despite the mass migration of their community members in 1989-90.
The people of two minority communities especially living in villages are totally scared following the killing of their community members by terrorists of The Resistance Force (TRF) who made them safe targets to achieve cheap publicity and show their presence after a long lull.
Sources said with the fall of dusk, the minority community members living in far of villages much away from Srinagar city and other towns in Kashmir feel terrified as they have no safety and security of their lives. The concern has increased as the administration though making tall claims of providing fool proof security to the minorities putting up in strife -torn Valley has failed to take any concrete step in this regard during last one week since the killing of a reputed pharmacist, M L Bindroo and two other civilians including one non local hawker and a member of majority community in different parts of the Valley which was followed by the killing of two teachers of minority community in a Government School at Eidgah down town area of Srinagar.
Sources said the incidents have shaken the members of the miniscule minorities who despite making umpteen pleas before the concerned authorities and Lt Governor’s administration failed to get their attention towards the grave problem. Except the assurances, the Government has till date failed to provide security to these left out KP and Sikh families in Valley who are either living at the mercy of God or their neighbors, sources added.
They said a simple knocking at the door of any residential house after the fall of dusk increases the heart beats of inmates and they fear the worst. Even some times they pass sleepless nights under such situations but the Government and the administration is a mute spectator, sources added.
Sources said the officers both civil and police have a high security for them but they are not bothered for the security of the people who stayed back in Kashmir to keep the Kashmiriyat and the age old composite culture alive. Notwithstanding, the claims of preserving Kashmiriyat made by the successive Governments they failed to instill confidence among the hapless minorities over the years, said Sarla Kumari a member of minority community living in a village of South Kashmir area.
She said “Government has never bothered about us and our safety. We have been totally neglected and ignored and contrary to our expectations the present administration or Government at Delhi has also failed to realize the ground situation in Kashmir with the result targeted killings and attacks on our religious places have increased”.
“This Government is banking on the feed back of some people who are associated with various organizations saying that there is total change in ground situation when facts are totally otherwise,” she added.
“The Pandits putting up in Valley gave the sacrifice to keep the composite culture alive and decided to stay there come what may but the Government failed to discharge its responsibility,” said Vijay Raina Sarpanch. The people are scared after the fresh spurt of terrorist attacks and targeting of minority community members, he added.
Sanjay Tickoo, president Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS), while expressing his dismay over the fresh spurt of attacks on minorities said that Government has failed to restore their confidence in the system. The minorities staying back in Kashmir and gave sacrifices over last three decades but no body bothered for them. He said removing of security pickets from those places where minorities were putting up has shaken their confidence in the system and it was totally a wrong decision.
He said after the Nadimarg massacre where 24 members of minority community were gunned down on March 24 in 2003 the left over minorities had decided to migrate and the then Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammed Syed after consulting with the community leaders decided to establish security pickets at everyplace where the members of minority community were putting up. But later it was withdrawn in 2016 exposing the hapless people to grave risk.
He said, however, the issue was again taken by them with the Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha and there is every hope that Government will take some decision. The minorities in Kashmir feel that after removing the security pickets the Government should have made any other alternative which it failed putting their lives to grave risk.
Tickoo also accused his community members outside Valley of giving irrational statements and creating problems for the minorities staying in Valley. “They don’t understand how problematic these statements can be for their community members in Kashmir who can become safe and easy targets”. We the Pandits who stayed here are the real champions of Kashmiriyat or composite culture of which every Government present or past have boasted of but what steps they took to restore our confidence in the system”, he added.
Tickoo, who gives credit to local Muslims and neighbors of Pandits said they stood with the community through every thick and thin and he has also made an appeal to the Imams (priests) to make the announcements from local mosques that the minorities living in Kashmir be given full protection. “I still believe and trust that it is the majority community which can give us the safety and security and so I have made this appeal to them”, he added.
Expressing the hope that the situation will change for a better soon he said the employees who left the Valley since last three to four days will also be back soon to resume their usual duty.
Besides, the package employees putting up in rented accommodations also feel scared as the Government has till date not taken any steps to shift them to safer places. Ram Kumar, father of a package employee putting up in rented accommodation, said that the hundreds of these employees are also scared as the Government is totally non committal about their safety and security.
He said a delegation of these employees had met a senior officer in Srinagar today demanding that they be shifted in empty government buildings but he refused saying that the Government has identified land for construction of quarters for them and they will be shifted there at appropriate time. This is not a responsible reply. “When these quarters will be constructed. It will take years while the employees are feeling totally insecure at present”, he added.