'Don't Feel Safe in the Valley, Relocate Us Anywhere Else': Kashmiri Pandits
'Despite the security, Rahul Bhat was killed at the tehsil office. If he couldn't be safe, how will we feel safe?'
Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Irshad Alam
Video Inputs: Faizan Mir, Wasim Nabi
On 12 May, one of our brothers, Rahul Bhat, was killed by terrorists in Kashmir's Chadoora town. The targeted killing has instilled fear amongst the Kashmiri Pandits living in the valley.
He was killed at the Tehsil office, a place that is safeguarded by security forces. If someone like him is not safe, despite having security, how would others like me feel safe?
What happened in the '90s, you know it very well. In 2010, we were given a package by the PM. This was a package just for the sake of it. We were brought back here and given jobs. But rehabilitation has totally failed because we are yet to get accommodations.
It's been 12 years and yet we have not been provided with accommodation. 4,000-5,000 job posts have been provided, but many of these posts are non-gazetted. Some posts are Class IV posts, junior assistants whose salaries are Rs 14,000-Rs 20,000. They pay Rs 10,000 in house rents. How is this rehabilitation?
Here, when we are trying to restore our lives, we are being forced to leave the valley again. When these killings happen, how would we feel safe? As human beings, we have a right to live. We came here to work so that we could settle our families here. But if we don't feel safe, how would we settle?
We started our protest after the killing. It was a peaceful protest. Members of the community are sitting here without weapons. We were protesting peacefully in Sheikhupura as well. But tear gas shelling and lathi charge happened there. They were unarmed protesters, only demanding justice for the killing of their brother. We are demanding justice for ourselves.
Our first demand is the removal of the bond, that we signed when came here, which says we have to stay in the valley at all costs. The second thing is we don't feel safe here.
Relocate us from Kashmir to any part of India, we are ready to go anywhere. But we can't stay in Kashmir. Because when security personnel is not safe themselves and they are being killed, then how will we feel safe? Therefore, please relocate us, or please accept our mass resignation.
(Shweta Bhat is an accounts assistant at the revenue department of Jammu and Kashmir. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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