A Kashmiri Pandit government employee in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district was shot dead by terrorists on Thursday, police said. The brutal killing of 35-year-old Rahul Bhat has sent shockwaves across the nation, particularly among the Kashmiri Pandit community.
Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha on Friday met with the relatives of Rahul Bhat, and assured justice to the family and said that the terrorists and their supporters will pay a price for the heinous act. But the members of Kashmiri Pandit community have been protesting at Sheikhpora in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district since the killing of Bhat.
Lathi charge, tear gas to disperse KPs
The J&K Police on Friday used tear gas and lathi-charge to disperse the protest carried out by the Kashmiri Pandit employees against the killing of their colleague by terrorists in Budgam district. Over 400 protesting Pandit employees were marching towards the Srinagar International Airport when police intercepted their march and used tear smoke shells and mild lathi-charge to disperse them.
The protesting Pandit employees were from Sheikhpora-Budgam migrant colony They were shouting slogans seeking the arrest and punishment to the killers of Rahul Bhat, who was killed in the tehsil office Chadoora during duty hours.
Meanwhile, the Kashmiri Pandit employees, appointed under the much-publicized Prime Minister’s Employment Package, reportedly submitted mass resignation in an unofficial document to protest against the government’s failure to protect them.
Terror threat to KPs
International Business Times has learned through highly-placed sources that the orders were not to lathi-charge the protesting Kashmiri Pandits but to request them to disperse from the area due to a terror threat that was received. Given the topography of the area and huge rush at the Airport road, there were inputs that terrorists may take advantage of the same and may attack the protesters in order to create communal tension.
Highly placed sources confirm to me that the orders were to request the protesters to disperse as there was an active terror threat input
— Danish Manzoor Bhat (@TellDM) May 13, 2022
The SHO reportedly misinterpreted the directive & ordered a lathi charge. The government of J&K has attached the concerned Station House Officer (SHO) and SIT probe into the terror attack killing Bhat has been ordered.
However some sources suggest there maybe more senior officers who faltered in communicating the message right down the line.
The J&K administration has also announced that it will provide a government job to Bhat’s wife in Jammu and financial assistance will be provided to the family. LG Sinha also said that the educational expenses of Bhat’s daughter will be covered by the government.