Not safe in Kashmir Valley, shift us out: KP staff

Srinagar: Not feeling safe in Kashmir, scores of Kashmiri Pandits today staged a protest in the historic clock tower area of Lal Chowk, demanding their relocation outside the Valley.

The protesters, including women, assembled along the banks of the Jhelum river in Lal Mandi locality of Srinagar and held prayers for the slain migrant employee, Rahul Bhat, who was shot by ultras in Budgam on May 12.

The protesters later marched to Lal Chowk, where they held a sit-in, demanding justice for Bhat.

“Our clear demand is that the J&K administration should relocate us outside the Valley. We don’t feel safe anywhere in Kashmir. When Rahul Bhat was not safe inside his office, how come we will be safe,” said a protester.

The government has transferred many migrant pandits to towns and district headquarters, but that has not impressed the protesters.

The killing of Bhat has triggered fear psychosis among the 6,000 migrant pandits employed in different government offices and schools under PM’s special scheme for pandits since 2010.

Later, the protesters marched to the BJP’s state office in the Jawahar Nagar locality and held a sit-in.

The Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti said Rahul Bhat’s family had “refused” Rs 5 lakh compensation and Class IV job to its post-graduate daughter-in-law on compassionate grounds.