Jammu: Several organisations on Friday staged protests here over the recent killing of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir by terrorists and said such violence was the result of frustration among separatists as the region was seeing fast development and peace.
Thousands of people took part in a rally, held under the banner of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Forum (JKPF), to protest against the killings and demanded action against terrorists.
Raising anti-Pakistan slogans, protesters blocked traffic on the Tawi bridge and congregated under the statue of Maharaja Hari Singh, the last King of Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a number of killings of civilians in the last few days, with the latest on Thursday, when principal Supinder Kaur and teacher Deepak Chand were shot dead at point blank range inside a government school in Srinagar.
On Tuesday, Makhan Lal Bindroo, a prominent Kashmiri Pandit, and a vendor, Virendra Paswan from Bihar, were killed by terrorists in Srinagar, and civilian, Mohammad Shafi Lone, in Bandipora. Terrorists shot dead Majid Ahmad Gojri in Srinagar and Mohammad Shafi Dar at Batamaloo on Saturday.
Besides the JKPF, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal, the Shiv Sena, and the Jagran Manch also held demonstrations against the incidents, while members of the Kashmiri Pandit community protested in Purkhoo, Butanagar and Muthi.
“We are holding protests to express our anger over the selective and systematic killing of minorities (Sikhs and Hindus) in Kashmir during the past few days. The terrorists of TRF (The Resistance Front) selectively targeted two teachers belonging to minority communities and shot them dead,” JKPF member Rajiv Pandita told reporters here.
He said the killings were a result of frustration among separatists and terrorists caused by fast taking place peace and development in the Kashmir Valley.
BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir vice president Yudhvir Sethi said those responsible for killings will be punished and will not be allowed to go scot-free.
“Terrorists are attacking soft targets and unarmed minorities to create fear and terror in Kashmir. The violence is the result of the pressure they are feeling,” he said.
The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries also took out a protest march and condemned the spate in killings.
Led by its president, Arun Gupta, hundreds of businessmen, traders and industrialists raised anti-Pakistan slogans and demanded immediate security to minorities in the Valley.
Gupta said that by targeting innocent minorities and non-locals, terrorists are trying to instil a sense of fear among them.
He said killing of civilians was a matter of concern and urged the Centre to take a serious note of it.
Jammu and Kashmir National Panther party (JKNPP) activists, led by their chairman Harsh Dev Singh, staged a demonstration in Jammu, and condemned the violence and the government for failing to prevent it from happening.
The protesters raised anti-BJP slogans and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
JKNPP leaders had a scuffle with police personnel who had put up huge barricades to restrict them from marching towards the Raj Bhawan.
Singh said there were no signs of the government on the ground in the Union Territory and the cowardly killings of seven innocent civilians had exposed the “haughty and supercilious” claims of normalcy made by the Centre after the state’s reorganisation in 2019.
In 2019, the Centre had revoked the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into union territories of Jammu and Kahsmir and Ladakh.
The killing of Supinder Kaur and Deepak Chand on Thursday was an attack on humanity, he said, and lambasted the BJP at the Centre for failing to rise up to the situation.
“The number of youths who joined militant ranks has seen a steep rise. Things have gone from bad to worse as the BJP government has failed to check the deteriorating situation in the Valley,” Singh said.
The perpetrators are on a killing spree and you are just condemning the episodes only to absolve yourself of responsibility to provide security to citizens. Don’t deplore, act”, Singh thundered at the BJP.
Kashmiri Pandit activists raised slogans against Pakistan in the Jagti area on the outskirts of Jammu.
They demanded a security cover around all places where minorities Kashmiri Pandits live the Valley.