Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday asked why the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh were silent on the targeted killings in Jammu and Kashmir, reported PTI.

“They had time to watch The Kashmir Files, but now why BJP and RSS are silent when Hindus are being killed there?” Baghel asked.

Since January, at least 19 targeted killings, including those of police officials, teachers and village heads, have been reported in Kashmir. Of these, 12 were civilians – five Hindus and seven Kashmiri Muslims.

Kashmiri Pandits employees have been protesting against the killings. They want to be relocated outside the Valley and have accused the Union Territory administration of stopping them from leaving.

The Kashmir Files is a movie based on the exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits that took place in the 1990s because of a rise in militancy. The movie, released on March 11, was endorsed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many other senior BJP leaders.

On Friday, Baghel said that the BJP leaders had claimed that the situation would normalise in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019. The situation is far from normal, he added.

“The important thing is that their strategy on Kashmir has completely failed,” he claimed. “What they thought was not right.”

The chief minister asked who should be held accountable for the killings of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley. He also asked what the government has done to ensure the security of Kashmiri Pandits.

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi asked Union Home Minister Amit to provide security, adequate compensation and a government job to the family of those who died in these targeted killings.

“I believe that such killings have amplified the feeling of fear and uncertainty among the Hindus residing in Kashmir,” Chaturvedi said in her letter to Shah. “Such targeted attacks on Kashmiri Pandits and migrants raises questions on the implementation of various schemes launched by the Government of India for the development and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants.”

It was unfortunate that the government has not taken any effective measure to address the problem, she added.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday met Jammu and Kashmir administration officials, the Army chief and security and intelligence agencies on the matter of targeted killings, reported NDTV.

The meeting took place in Delhi a day after a labourer from Bihar and a bank manager from Rajasthan were shot by militants in separate attacks in Kashmir.

Kashmiri Pandits write to HC

The Union government needs to relocate Kashmiri Pandits out of the Valley, the Kashmiri Pandits Sangharsh Samiti told the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday. The organisation has been looking after the welfare of Kashmiri Pandits.

The organisation claimed that people connected to government officials had ensured that their Kashmiri Pandit friends and relatives were rehabilitated outside the Valley. The welfare programme for rehabilitation does not allow postings outside Kashmir, it said.

This shows that the administration knew that Kashmir did not have a conducive environment for rehabilitating the Kashmiri Pandits but it was still done without providing a proper security cover, the organisation said.

Transfers of Kashmiri Pandit officials made under the rehabilitation programme before May 12 need to be investigated to ascertain if the administration knew that the situation in the Valley was going to worsen, the organisation said.

“That is a clear violation of the Right to life which is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India as on the one hand, UT/Central Administration fail to protect the lives of the religious minorities in Kashmir Valley and on the other hand does not let them leave Kashmir Valley so that they can protect their respective lives for the reasons unknown,” it said.

It asked the chief justice to summon officials to explain the policy they have been using since June 8, 2020, when a Kashmiri Pandit Sarpanch, Ajay Pandita, was killed in Anantnag district. It sought special investigation team inquiry into all targeted killings since Pandita’s murder.