Kashmiri Hindus, Sikhs who withstood 90s exodus, now pack their bags after spate of attacks on minorities

The Sikh employees, working across various private and government positions, decided to suspend work while several Kashmiri Hindus moved out of the Valley to other parts of India.

Ishfaq Naseem October 10, 2021 09:18:18 IST
Kashmiri Hindus, Sikhs who withstood 90s exodus, now pack their bags after spate of attacks on minorities

Tulsi Bagh area in Srinagar is home to Sikh and Hindu families along with government officials on deputation to Kashmir. Last night a gunbattle broke out near here and a stray bullet shattered the window of a Sikh family's home. Firstpost/ Ishfaq Naseem.

In a small office at Amira Kadal Gurdwara in Srinagar, some Sikhs gathered to hammer home a point after the targeted attacks on the members of the minority community in Kashmir: That they were feeling unsafe in Kashmir.

The Sikh employees, working across various private and government positions, decided to suspend work while several Kashmiri Hindus moved out of the Valley to other parts of India. "After the attacks, it is the responsibility of the authorities to provide security to us,” said Sandeep Singh, a Rainwari resident.

After the attacks, the Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (GPC) said that the Sikh employees will not report at work until adequate security arrangements are made. The attacks have triggered migration of even those Kashmiri Hindus, who had chosen to stay here besides those who moved here later on deputation.

President of GPC, Budha Singh, said that the Sikh employees are feeling unsafe to report to work. “ If they could carry out an attack in Srinagar, they could do the same in other parts of Kashmir like Kupwara or south Kashmir. No employee will report to work at this rate,” he said. Budha Singh said that there will be at least 4,000 employees who would shun work.

Kashmiri Hindus Sikhs who withstood 90s exodus now pack their bags after spate of attacks on minorities

Members of the Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee in Srinagar have said that Sikh and Hindu workers will shun work until authorities make better arrangements for their protection. Firstpost/ Ishfaq Naseem

These attacks have forced the authorities to reassess the security situation while they also triggered a fresh wave of migration of Hindus to Jammu, something which has not been witnessed since the onset of militancy in the 1990s.

Late last night in a gunfight in the nearby area of Methan in Srinagar, militants managed to escape from the place. In another encounter last evening, one militant of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was killed in Srinagar but a bullet hit a senior government official’s vehicle while another pierced the window of a Sikh family's home in Tulsi Bagh area of Srinagar, which largely houses bureaucrats and pro-India politicians.

A family member who didn’t wish to be named said a bullet hit one of the windows, following which a large number of police personnel and paramilitary forces lined up the roads even as authorities said that the stray bullet was from a nearby gunfight and not another militant attack.

Police tweeted yesterday that one militant was killed while another managed to escape in a gunfight that broke out after militants fired on Srinagar Police personnel. The police also said that the slain militant was identified as Aqib Bashir Kumar of Trenz Shopian and was affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba outfit.

Due to the deterioration in the security situation in Kashmir, most of the nearly 4,000 Kashmiri Hindus employed in different government jobs have suspended work and moved to the Hindu majority region of Jammu. A number of government employees posted in Srinagar packed their bags at the Kashmiri Hindu transit accommodation at Sheikhpura in Budgam to leave Kashmir.

A teacher working in the education department said that he could leave the job. "I have decided to move to Jammu as the security situation remains grim here," he said adding that he hasn't stepped out from the transit accommodation since the killing of two teachers of a minority community at a school in Srinagar. In the last one week, four members of the minority community including a famous Kashmiri Pandit pharmacist, a Sikh teacher and a non-local street vendor have been killed here.

President of Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti, Sanjay Tickoo, said that there are at least 60 to 70 families of Kashmiri Hindus who have migrated from Srinagar in the past few days. He said that families have migrated to Jammu, but hoped that the situation would improve and “ it will only be a temporary migration.” “ The families which have migrated are those who had chosen to stay here in the 90s,” he said.

The attacks on the members of minority communities have stepped up in the past month and began after the abrogation of Article 370, which stripped the region of its semi-autonomous status and now allows non-state residents to buy land and other properties here. These measures have been opposed by several pro-India and separatist groups in Kashmir. The Hurriyat Conference in a recent statement has stressed the need for dialogue to “resolve the Kashmir issue.”

Also Read: Opinion | Recent killings in the Valley prove that there is still much hatred against Kashmiri Pandits

Updated Date:

also read

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti served notice to vacate government quarter within 24 hours
India

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti served notice to vacate government quarter within 24 hours

Soon after the state was converted into a Union Territory in 2019, the guaranteed life-term perks to all former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir were also withdrawn

Explained: Jammu and Kashmir’s bizarre diktat, then backtrack on electric heaters in freezing winters
Explainers

Explained: Jammu and Kashmir’s bizarre diktat, then backtrack on electric heaters in freezing winters

Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir's Ganderbal district said they passed the original order banning heaters even as it snowed to avoid any damage to transmission lines, unscheduled power cuts and provide hassle-free electricity supply to consumers. The directive was amended after an uproar

WATCH: Farooq Abdullah praises Lord Ram, calls him lord of the world
Politics

WATCH: Farooq Abdullah praises Lord Ram, calls him lord of the world

Former National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah made the statement about Lord Ram while targeting the BJP during the inauguration program of a factory in the Akhnoor district of Jammu and Kashmir