The Kashmir divisional administration on Wednesday asked department heads to ensure that Kashmiri Pandit employees are not posted in any vulnerable locations within the Valley, PTI reported.
“We had a meeting with all heads of departments and chief engineers,” Divisional Commissioner Kashmir PK Pole said. “I have told them to ensure that the Kashmiri Pandit employees are posted in less vulnerable areas like towns and district headquarters.”
This direction was given after the killing of Rahul Bhat, a revenue department official at the tehsil office in Chadoora, Budgam district. He was shot dead by two suspected militants on May 12.
Bhat’s killing triggered a wave of protests at Kashmiri Pandit camps across the Valley. Protesters blocked highways and shouted slogans against the administration as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party for failing to ensure security for Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley.
They have also demanded that Kashmiri Pandit employees be transferred to Jammu,
However, Pole on Wednesday refrained from answering questions about Jammu postings, PTI reported.
“..the issue of couples being posted in different areas will also be addressed,” Pole said, according to PTI. “They will be posted closer to their colonies so that their commuting time is also less”.
Meanwhile, the protest entered its seventh day on Wednesday, with Kashmiri Pandits holding a march in Budgam district.
Bhat was among the thousands of Kashmiri Pandits who returned to Kashmir under the Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation and Return Scheme. Launched in 2008, it was meant to facilitate the return of Kashmiri Pandits who fled the Valley en masse in the 1990s when the community was targeted by militants. Most of those who returned lived in heavily securitised government camps.
In the past eight months, suspected militants have attacked several members of religious minorities and migrant workers in Kashmir.
In October, suspected militants had killed seven civilians in five days. Of these, four belonged to Hindu or Sikh communities in the Valley. Three others were Kashmiri Muslims.