PAGD to meet J&K LG over security of Kashmiri Pandits in Valley

Pic | Shakeel/Excelsior

SRINAGAR, May 14: The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has sought an appointment with Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to raise the issue of safety and security of Kashmiri Pandits in the valley, a spokesperson said here on Saturday.
Briefing reporters outside the residence of the PAGD president Farooq Abdullah after a meeting of the group, spokesperson M Y Tarigami, said the killing of Kashmiri Pandit government employee Rahul Bhat in Budgam has shaken the Kashmiri society.
Bhat, who had got the job of a clerk under the special employment package for migrants in 2010-11, was gunned down by terrorists inside the tehsil office in Chadoora town on Thursday.
“A delegation of Kashmiri Pandits wanted to place its concerns before the PAGD. They met us and we told them that as far as we and the people are concerned, this painful story has now become a routine of the day here, but Rahul’s killing has shaken us,” Tarigami, who is also a senior leader of the CPI(M), said.
Tarigami said the killing has troubled the whole society and the people of Kashmir are with their pandit brethren in this time of grief.
“We appeal all the people that it is our tradition in Kashmir that even when the whole sub-continent was burning in 1947, Kashmir was the only place where no one faced any difficulty. It is our misfortune that Kashmir has become a troubled place for the people living here,” he said.
“We appeal to everyone to keep Kashmir’s traditions of brotherhood alive as our security lies with each other and whatever can be done from our side, we will surely do it. But, the responsibility lies with the government. They have created a narrative that there is normalcy in Kashmir even if ten people are killed,” Tarigami said.
He said the amalgam has decided to meet Sinha and take up the issue with him.
“As an immediate measure, we have approached Raj Bhavan for a meeting of the PAGD leadership – Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Muzaffar Shah and me – with J&K’s LG and we will tell him to resolve the issues. He says a lot on radio and TV, let him do something on the ground,” Tarigami said.
“We will tell the government to check in a mirror whether there is normalcy on the ground or not and see with your eyes open. We will also tell the government to provide security to the Kashmiri Pandits and others as well.”
“For that, it is important that Kashmiri Pandit employees get an opportunity to work in a secure atmosphere, at a safe place so that their fears get over and they become confident,” he added.
The PAGD spokesperson said the alliance will also tell Sinha that the use of batons on Kashmiri Pandits during a protest on Friday at Budgam was very unfortunate.
“They had come out to mourn, they had come out with an appeal, they wanted to share their pain, but you lathicharged them as well. This is unfortunate. The use of batons in Kashmir should stop,” Tarigami said. (Agencies)