Amid Protests, Budgam DC Denies Reports of Resignation of 350 Kashmiri Pandits

Massive protests by Kashmiri Pandits had erupted in J&K on Thursday against the killing of Rahul Bhat.

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The Budgam Deputy Commissioner on Friday, 13 May, denied reports of the mass resignation of 350 Kashmiri Pandit employees amid protests against the killing of Rahul Bhat, a member of their community.

The news of the alleged resignations had gone viral on social media.

The deputy commissioner, Shahbaz Ahmed Mirza, also said that the administration had not received any resignations from migrant workers in the state.

Reports had been doing the rounds, stating that 350 Kashmiri Pandits employed under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme had sent their resignations to Lt General Manoj Sinha as a mark of protest against Bhat's killing.

Protests Against Bhat's Killing

Massive protests by Kashmiri Pandits had erupted in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday night, after a government employee identified as Rahul Bhat was shot dead inside his office by militants in the Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

The police resorted to firing tear gas shells and using batons when a group of protesters attempted to proceed towards the Srinagar Airport.

A police official told that the gunmen fired upon the migrant employee in the local Tehsil office, at Chadoora on Thursday afternoon. Bhat was immediately shifted to Sub District Hospital, wherefrom he was shifted to SMHS hospital for specialised treatment.

The protestors, including government officers and their families, camped at the migrant colony at Vesu-Qazigund in the Anantnag district and demanded that the Lieutenant Governor's administration ensure that Kashmiri Pandits are safe in the Valley.

Visuals of Sheikhpora Migrant Colony in Budgam, which houses Kashmiri Pandits who are government employees under a special rehabilitation package, being locked from outside by the police emerged on social media, showing an impassioned man saying that they were assured that they would meet the governor after a sit-in protest was dispersed.

The video shows armed police personnel standing outside the gates, while another shows them holding the gates shut.

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