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Minorities in Kashmir question missing public protests condemning the killings

Last Updated on October 17, 2021 at 7:24 pm

The recent increase in the killing of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir has created a threat in the minds of people especially the minorities. Since October 2, nine civilians have been shot dead. Six belonged to minorities in the Valley , two were Kashmiri Pandit, two were Hindu migrant workers from Bihar, one was a Muslim migrant worker from Uttar Pradesh and one a Sikh school teacher.

After the panic situation of target killings many Kashmiri Pandit families have left and those remaining are fearful. There is a sense of siege in the transit camps, whose inhabitants are locked up inside and guarded by security forces. Outsiders, including the press, are not allowed to enter.

As per the attacks have been condemned by the Separatists and pro-India leaders, trade bodies and civil society groups from the majority community but minorities feel that popular and vocal protests against the killings are not happening.

Jagmohan Singh Raina, chairman of the All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee said that he has good faith in the majority and that’s why we expected Kashmir’s intellectual class to come out and protest very strongly. He added that though a lot of Muslims participated in the funeral of the Sikh victim, they feel that prominent people in society did not come forward.

Yet Kashmir has not seen widespread public protests for over two years now, since the Centre stripped the region of special status under Article 370 . Observers in the Valley feel that the government clampdown that persisted since then has erased the space for public protests.