Hours after a bank manager from Rajasthan was shot dead by suspected terrorists in south Kashmir's Kulgam district, Union Home Minister Amit Shah met National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Thursday, 2 June, to discuss the recent spate of targeted killings in Kashmir.
Union Minister of State, Prime Minister's Office Dr Jitendra Singh also joined the meeting. Doval is currently in North Block to meet Amit Shah.
Thursday's attack was the second targeted attack on Hindus in the Valley in three days and comes just two days after Rajni Bala, a Hindu teacher from Jammu, was shot down by terrorists outside a school in Kulgam.
Vijay Kumar, who was a bank manager at the Kulgam branch of Elaqahi Dehati Bank, was attacked in the Arreh area of the district. A resident of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan, Kumar joined his posting in Kulgam only last week.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the targeted killings.
He said in a tweet, "Bank managers, teachers and other innocent people are getting killed everyday, Kashmiri Pandits are fleeing. Those who have the responsibility to protect have no time to spare after promoting films. The BJP has made Kashmir only as a means to secure power. Take immediate steps to restore peace in Kashmir, prime minister.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that PM Modi's government saw Kashmiri Pandits as an electoral issue and not as humans. He claimed that the 1987 J&K Legislative Assembly elections were rigged which led to the Kashmir conflict in 1989, as per ANI.
Kashmiri Pandits Hold Protests in Sri Nagar
Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits, including government employees, came out in Srinagar on Thursday in protest against targeted killings of Hindus in the valley and threatened to migrate to Jammu region.
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)
Many of the government employees have already left the valley. To stop them from leaving, the Union Territory administration had put up barricades at the Srinagar-Jammu highway and locked gates to transit camps, NDTV reported.
However, Srinagar Airport issued a statement saying that reports of Kashmiri Pandits flying out in large numbers is incorrect.
The airport tweeted, "We strongly rebut this sensational rumour mongering. We handle between 16,000 to 18,000 passengers everyday. Today also the number of passengers is average. There is no heavy rush of minority community as rumoured...Please do not spread rumours like this."
On Kashmiri Pandit Exodus
Following the killing of a Hindu teacher, around 165 Kashmiri Pandits have already left the valley since Wednesday, claimed Sanjay Tickoo, the president of Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti.
"It is insecurity that is making them leave. The government says everything is okay, the situation in K is crawling back to the 90s," said Tickoo.
Meanwhile, a forum of Kashmiri Pandit refugees employed under the PM's package have asked employees who stay on rent to leave the valley and protest in Jammu.
"We have asked families who stay on rent to leave the valley and protest outside the relief commissioners office in Jammu" said Sunny Raina, leader of PMP employees at Vessu, Kulgam.
Ashok Bhat, the father of a KP employee in Vessu added that security forces are not allowing anyone to leave the camp.
"Today, they didn't let us go out of the camp...not even to the nearby shops" he said.
While the Centre has announced the construction of 6,000 transit camps in the valley for PM package employees, only only 15 percent of the work has been completed till date. Out of 6,000 jobs declared for KP refugees under PM's package, around 5,928 have been filled.
According to a report by The Indian Express, "No more than 1,037 of them live in secure accommodations."
(With inputs from ANI, NDTV, and The Indian Express.)