A Kashmiri Pandit organisation on Tuesday asked the members of the community to leave the Valley after Sunil Kumar Bhat was killed by suspected militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Sunil Kumar Khat was a Kashmiri Pandit. His brother Pintu Kumar Bhat was injured in the attack.
On Tuesday, Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti chief Sanjay Tickoo said in a statement the government and the judiciary have failed to protect the community. The organisation comprises Kashmiri Pandits who did not leave the Valley in the 1990s – a period which saw a rise in militancy, according to The Indian Express.
“With another deadly attack on Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir Valley, the terrorists have made it clear [that] they are going to kill all the Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley,” the statement said. “Irony is local OGW [overground workers] work with them to kill their neighbours.”
Meanwhile, Muslims from the Chotipora village in Shopian, where Sunil Kumar Bhat lived, arranged for his last rites, reported the Kashmir Observer.
In a video of the funeral procession, they could be seen shouting slogans of unity and ending civilian killings.
Three Pandit families that did not migrate during the 1990s live in the village.
“We have always lived here peacefully and we share our grief and celebrations since decades,” a Kashmiri Pandit living in Chotipora told the Kashmir Observer.
He said the repeated attacks in the last four months have raised the level of fear among Kashmiri Pandits again. He added that the attacks bring back the gory memories of the 1990s.
Since January, at least 21 targeted killings, including those of police officials, teachers and village heads, have been reported in Kashmir.
Of these, 14 were civilians – seven each belonged to the Hindu Kashmiri Muslim communities. Many of them have been shot point-blank in their homes or workplaces.
The killing of Rahul Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit government employee, on May 12 had led to massive protests by members of the community in many parts of the Union Territory.