Bhat’s Killing Brings Back Fear for Kashmir Pandits; Data Shows J&K Civilians Safer Than Last Year​


The fear among Kashmiri Pandits is back with the recent killing of Puran Krishan Bhat.

October remains tense for security forces as maximum killings last year, too, were recorded in the month. This year, too, law enforcement agencies are expecting that terrorists will give a push to disturb the law and order situation in the valley.

However, according to the data, till September 2022, the number of civilian killings was 25, with the highest recorded in March (8) and May (6). The total number of civilians killed in 2021 was 41, while it was 38 in 2019. There is a dip in killings, but the fear remains.

On Saturday, Bhat, belonging to the Kashmiri Pandit community, was shot dead by militants in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir. He was attacked near his residence in the Chowdhary Gund area of south Kashmir district. He was taken to the Shopian hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

IN 2021

Last year, too, terrorists targeted Kashmiri Pandits and Hindus in October. The matter has also been raised in Parliament. “We have been protesting for the past 144 days and asking the government to relocate us until the situation in the Valley improves, but nothing has happened. Home Minister Amit Shah also came to J&K, but didn’t meet us or talk about us. This killing has reassured us that we are not safe and the government must listen to us,” Rohit Dhar, a Kashmiri Pandit told News18 from Jammu. His family members also left Kashmir after terrorists targetted Kashmiri Pandits last year.

He said the Valley is not safe and nobody is interested to go back from Jammu to Kashmir.

MORE FOREIGN TERRORISTS?

According to the latest data, security forces have eliminated 154 terrorists till September 2022, but there has been an increase in the number of foreign terrorists.

Former DG CRPF Kuldiep Singh, who retired recently, had told the media that there is a rise of FTs in J&K, especially after the regime change in Afghanistan, which saw the Taliban come to power.

ALSO READ | ‘Fear at The Top of My Mind’: Terror-stricken J&K Kashmiri Pandit Employees Not Buoyed by Govt’s Words

Official data reveals that till August this year, there were around 141 terrorists, of which 84 were FTs and 57 were Local Terrorists.

In terms of recruitment, there has been a dip since 2019. In 2020, the total recruitment, as per the information received by Intelligence agencies, was 181, which reduced to 142 in 2021. This year (till September 21), only 82 terrorists have been recruited by terror outfits.

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