14 Kashmiri Pandits, Hindus killed in Kashmir Valley after Article 370 removed: MHA

Ministry of Home Affairs told Rajya Sabha that 34 members of minority communities were killed in the Valley, “in terrorist related incidents” since 2017

14 Kashmiri Pandits, Hindus killed in Kashmir Valley after Article 370 removedImage: Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told the Rajya Sabha that since 2017, as many as 34 members of the minority communities were killed in the Valley, “in terrorist related incidents”. This included 14 Kashmiri Pandits and Hindus killed in Kashmir Valley after Article 370 was removed in August 2019. The Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, was responding to a question by Vishambhar Prasad Nishad (SP), Chhaya Verma (Congress) and Ram Nath Thakur (JD–U).

According to the minister, “The number of Kashmiri Pandits and other Hindus killed by the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir from August 5, 2019 to March 24,2022 stood at 14.” These killings have been reported from “Anantnag, Srinagar, Pulwama and Kulgam districts in the Valley”. This is a tragic rise as since 2017, as many as 11 such killings were reported. According to the reply the government has claimed taking “several measures to ensure the safety of the minorities in the Valley. These include a robust security and intelligence grid, group security in the form of static guards, day and night area domination, round–the–clock checking at nakas, patrolling in the areas where the minorities reside besides proactive operations against terrorists.” 

According to The Hindu, Rai also submitted, “After the repeal of Article 370, about 2,105 migrants have returned back to Kashmir Valley for taking up the jobs provided under Prime Minister’s Development Package.”

The minister in another reply said that “cross–border infiltration in J&K has decreased significantly since 2018 and the “net infiltration” was down to 34 in 2021”. The infiltrations reported in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 stood at 136, 143, 138 and 51, reported The Hindu. Rai claimed that “the government has a policy of zero tolerance against terrorism and there has been substantial decline in terrorist attacks from 417 in 2018 to 255 in 2019, 244 in 2020 and 229 in 2021.”

To a question by BJP’s Rakesh Sinha on the number of properties restored to Kashmiri Hindus and the number of temples desecrated in the 1980s that were restored post–2019, Rai’s reply was quoted by the news report stating, “District Magistrates in J&K are the custodians of the property belonging to Kashmiri migrants. A portal was started in September 2021 to help in restoring the property of Kashmiri migrants whose properties were snatched or forcefully taken away. If their complaints are genuine, action will be taken. So far, 610 properties have been restored to the rightful claimants.”

Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi asked why were Kashmiri Pandits still referred to as “Kashmiri migrants”, to which Minister Rai responded saying, “I would like to further amend it and refer to them as Hindu Kashmiri Pandits. Those who want to go back, we are providing jobs to them.” According to the Minister, “Under Prime Minister’s Development Package, 2015 (PMDP-2015), 3,000 State government jobs for Kashmiri migrants have been created. The selection process for appointment of 2,828 migrants has been completed, out of which 1,913 migrants have been appointed and verification of documents in respect of the remaining 915 migrants has been taken up.” The report added that according to the ministry “construction of transit accommodations under the Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Package, 2008 (PMRP–2008) is complete, while work is being completed in respect of accommodations approved under the PMDP-2015. Construction of 1,025 units has been completed/substantially completed, 1,488 units are at different stages of completion and work on the remaining units has been taken up.” 

The minister’s written response may be read here:

However, the Kashmiri Pandits who continue to live in the Valley said the spurt in the violent attacks since March is what they “feared” since the polarising film The Kashmir Files was released. Sanjay Tickoo, President of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), is a well known community leader who never left the valley and is at the forefront of demanding rights and protection for the minority. In March he had shared his apprehensions that this film, that was not being screened in the union territory and was being watched in its pirated form, will only work to “polarise communities, spread hate, and even fuel violence that people of Jammu and Kashmir, and elsewhere do not want repeated ever again.”

Tickoo’s words of warning have been prophetic as a Kashmiri Pandit businessman was shot and seriously injured a few days ago. A little known group named Kashmir Freedom Fighters (KFF) claimed responsibility for the April 4 attack in Shopian’s Choutigam area on Bal Krishan Bhatt who was seriously injured. The attack on him was the first on Kashmiri Pandits this year. In other attacks, a CRPF jawan was killed and more civilians injured, including two migrant workers from Bihar, on April 3 and 4. This has sent the alarm bells ringing, as reported by NDTV this is also a time when “migrant labour returns to Kashmir Valley”. According to MHA statistics quoted in the report, soon “after attacks in October 2021 about 27,000 migrants and 400 Kashmiri Pandits left the valley.” 

In October 2021, militants had shot dead a well known businessman, Makan Lal Bindroo at his shop in the high-security zone of the Iqbal Park area of Srinagar. In another attack later, school principal Deepak Chand and a female teacher Supinder (Satinder) Kour were killed in Safa Kadal area of Srinagar. 



This is what we feared: Sanjay Tickoo on the rising attacks in Kashmir since March

The Kashmir Files: Calls for Muslim genocide ring out in cinema halls, hate brews outside

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Hundreds mourn Srinagar resident Mohammad Ibrahim Khan

J&K: More migrant workers shot dead by terrorists over the weekend, all eyes on Centre

Friday Sermons Urge Protection for Kashmiri Pandits/Sikhs in kashmir Valley

Srinagar: Grief envelopes Valley as Supinder (Satinder) Kour’s last rites are performed

Govt to Blame, where is the security for KP families in the Valley, asks Sanjay Tickoo, KPSS



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