Report Wire - Protest at Kashmiri Pandit camp in Sheikhpora continues; workers demand relocation

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Protest at Kashmiri Pandit camp in Sheikhpora continues; workers demand relocation

4 min read
Protest at Kashmiri Pandit camp in Sheikhpora continues; employees demand relocation


SHEIKHPORA: Fear and anger had been writ massive on the faces of Kashmiri Pandit workers and their members of the family as they continued their protest on Saturday on the Sheikhpora transit camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district in opposition to the killing of Rahul Bhat and demanding their relocation to safer locations outdoors Kashmir Valley.

A posse of safety forces personnel stood guard outdoors the camp, ostensibly for his or her safety. The protesters, nevertheless, claimed that the safety forces personnel prevented them from taking out a protest march.

The camp, which homes the households of Bhat and different Kashmir Pandits who had been employed underneath the prime minister’s bundle in 2008, has turn out to be an epicentre of protests within the aftermath of the killing Bhat, who was shot useless by terrorists in his workplace in Chadoora on Thursday.

The protesters have been demanding their relocation to secure environments within the wake of a spurt within the assaults on the minority neighborhood members within the valley.

On Saturday, over 100 workers — women and men — sat underneath a big makeshift tent, in an effort to defend themselves from the scorching warmth prevalent throughout the valley, as they protested in opposition to Bhat’s killing as nicely to press for the acceptance of their calls for.

So far, they mentioned, there have been no seen indicators of any decision to the issues. “This is the failure of both the central as well as the union territory governments. This is the ninth killing (of minority community members), we are facing huge problems, but there is no redressal,” Vimal, a Kashmiri pandit worker, advised PTI on the camp.

He mentioned for the migrant workers to work freely, a secure and safe atmosphere ought to be created. “There has to have fool-proof security arrangements for us to work. We cannot work like this and so, we are planning to submit mass resignations,” Vimal mentioned.

On Friday, there have been reviews of mass resignations by the staff, particularly within the militancy-hit south Kashmir, however the authorities dismissed these.

Instead, it mentioned, their service-related points had been being addressed in a time-bound method inside every week. Vimal, nevertheless, mentioned the federal government’s intentions weren’t clear. While many paid tributes to Bhat — {a photograph} of his was positioned on a desk — a number of others raised slogans in opposition to the federal government and the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

A tri-colour additionally positioned on the desk. The protesters acquired up and rushed in direction of the primary gate of the camp which has shut by the police since Friday evening. The protesters tried to throw the gate open, however police prevailed. A police automobile was additionally introduced in entrance of the gate to cease the march of the protesters.

The workers — who on Friday had sat on the primary street connecting the district with Srinagar metropolis in addition to the airport — mentioned they had been fooled by the police into vacating the street and had been now “caged” contained in the transit camp.

“We were removed from the dharna by the DIG (central Kashmir) on the assurance that the Lieutenant Governor will come to see us. However, the LG did not come. He sent his principal secretary, Nitishwar Kumar, instead around 11 pm,” Vimal mentioned. “He (Kumar) had no solutions, no redressal to our issues,” one of many workers mentioned.

Sanjay Kumar, one other worker, mentioned reviews about offering the migrant workers arms licenses had been “fake”. The neighborhood has an answer to their issues — the federal government ought to briefly relocate them to “safer places” until a safe ambiance is created within the valley.

“For the time-being, two years, three years, we should be relocated till the time they control the situation. They are not doing anything except telling us that there is no provision to relocate them,” one other worker from the neighborhood, Aparna Pandit, mentioned.

The Kashmiri Pandits mentioned they’ve by no means come out on roads or raised their voice, however Bhat’s killing has “shook us”.

“Do they want us dead? We will submit mass resignations as the government has totally failed because now employees are killed inside their offices. Where is the security? Why is there no provision for us to be transferred outside Kashmir? People can come from Bihar and Maharashtra to work here, but we cannot go outside,” she mentioned.

They claimed their issues will proceed as the federal government was “making us sacrificial lamb”. “Either accept our mass resignations or do something to secure our lives. Transfer us then to any other state in India. The government said they can neither accept our resignation, nor transfer us,” she mentioned.

Another Kashmiri pandit, who didn’t want to be named, mentioned the federal government desires to create an environment of worry. “They do not want us to live happily here. We left our families, our children were living happily and studying well when they told us they will rehabilitate us. Is this what that rehabilitation is? Has Rahul Bhat been rehabilitated?” he mentioned.

“Why are we not being allowed to go to press colony (in Srinagar) to protest Bhat’s killing and to pay homage to him? Why are we being caged here? Are we stone-pelters? Are we anti-national elements, terrorists? We sat peacefully yesterday. The police is deliberately harassing us,” he mentioned.

While the protest continued close to the primary gate, the entire transit camp — which homes about 300 households — offered a grim image.

Many Kashmiri Pandits, particularly the aged, had been busy with their each day chores, however none of them gave the impression to be at peace. Their faces betrayed their hearts which had, for thus lengthy, been longing to return to Kashmir.