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On strike for 76 days, Kashmiri Pandits threaten to intensify stir

82 people have died and thousands injured during the ensuing unrest.

By: PTI | Jammu |
September 27, 2016 8:10:21 pm

Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) on strike for 76 days here, Tuesday hit out at the Jammu and Kashmir government for “ignoring their plight” and threatened to intensify their protest.

Maintaining that they are “not safe” in Kashmir due to the ongoing unrest there, the protesters, employed in the Valley under the Prime Minister’s rehabilitation package, are demanding to be “accommodated” in the Jammu region.

Over 1,600 of them left the Valley for Jammu after their transit camps at various places in Kashmir allegedly came under attacks from stone-pelting mobs in the aftermath of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani by the security forces in an encounter on July 8.

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82 people have died and thousands injured during the ensuing unrest. “The lives of Kashmiri Pandit employees are not safe in the Valley. We demand that those who migrated from there in the wake of the unrest, be adjusted in various departments in the Jammu region,” Manoj Kumar, a member of the All Migrant Employees’ Association Kashmir (AMEAK), said.

“We do not want to return to Kashmir. We have been protesting and demanding that the government accommodates us in the Jammu region,” he said. The protesters claimed that two of them, including a woman, could not bear the stress and died due to cardiac arrest during the stir.”Two of our colleagues, who were protesting with us here, have died due to stress-induced cardiac arrest,” Kumar said.

“While the state government is not leaving any stone unturned to pacify those who raise anti-India slogans and indulge in stone-pelting, those who hold the Indian flag in Kashmir and do their jobs peacefully are being completely ignored,” national spokesman, All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee, King Bharti said.

He alleged that even though the protest had completed 76 days, “not a single representative” of the state or the Centre had so far come forward to listen to their grievances. “Our protest has completed 76 days, but not a single representative of the state or the Centre has come forward to listen to our problems,” Bharti said.

Rubin Saproo, president, AMEAK, the outfit which has been spearheading the protest, alleged that the state government had resorted to “arm-twisting by withholding the salary of the KP employees”. “While the employees in Kashmir are getting their salary, the Kashmiri Pandits have not been paid their salary since May which has forced many of us to the verge of starvation,” he claimed.

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