Srinagar | Jagran News Desk: The Jammu and Kashmir police resorted to firing tear gas shells after a massive crowd of protesters tried to move towards the Airport in Budgam during their demonstration demanding justice for the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit and Chadoora Tehsil office employee Rahul Bhat in Budgam on Thursday. The Kashmir Valley is witnessing massive protests since last night against the targeted killings of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley with protesters demanding safety from the administration.

Many government employees and their families, living in Kashmir, were seen protesting against the LG administration in Budgam's Chandoora. The members of the Kashmiri Pandits Employees Association also staged a massive protest at Mattan transit camp in Anantnag and said that the administration failed to fulfil its promises and provide them safety.

The employees are demanding the administration should relocate them to places where they feel rehabilitated. "We ask the government to re-locate us to places where we feel rehabilitated", Sandeep Bhat, a member of the association said as quoted by ANI. Protesters also blocked the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway near Vessu village on Thursday evening.

"Kashmiri Pandits should be given shelter at one place and jobs should be given in the nearby areas along with security. Only then they will remain safe. It is naturally a targeted killing. Barging inside the office and looking out for him is a targeted killing. This is being done to stop them from returning to Kashmir again," ANI quoted another local as saying

Over four thousand Kashmiri Pandits are living in transit camps in various parts of Kashmir after they were given government jobs under a special employment package launched in 2010. Members of the community left their transit camps, blocked roads and raised slogans against the central government and BJP, saying they have failed them.

Why Kashmir Valley is witnessing protests?

In yet another targeted killing, Two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists entered a crowded government office and shot dead a Kashmiri Pandit employee in Budgam district in central Kashmir on Thursday. The deceased was identified as Rahul Bhat, an employee of the Tehsil office in the Budgam district's Chadoora. Injured Rahul Bhat was taken to Srinagar's SMHS hospital, where he was declared dead.

Rahul Bhat (35) was posted in the Tehsil office in Chadoora under a special employment package for Kashmiri Pandit migrants. The two terrorists, belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba outfit, entered the Tehsil office around 4.30 pm when it was full of employees and people, and shot at Bhat.

Bhat was living in a migrant colony at Sheikhpura in Budgam district and had around eight years of service. He is survived by his wife, five-year-old daughter and parents. His father is a retired police officer.

Bhat is the second Kashmiri Pandit to have been killed by terrorists in the last seven months. A prominent member of the Kashmiri Pandit community, chemist Makhan Lal Bindroo, was shot dead by terrorist on October 6, 2021.

As many as 14 people belonging to Jammu and Kashmir's minority Hindu community, including Kashmiri Pandits, have been killed by militants in various parts of Kashmir between August 2019 and March 2022. Those targeted included prominent businessmen, sarpanch and block development council members.

There has been a spurt in attacks on non-Muslims and outsiders living in Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, in August 2019.

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan