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

Two more migrant workers shot dead by terrorists in Kulgam, 4 such deaths in 2 days, yet Union Govt’s statement on the alarming situation is still awaited 


In what has been reported as the “third attack in two days”, more migrant workers were killed in separate attacks on Saturday and Sunday, allegedly by terrorists. According to news reports, on Sunday evening, terrorists opened fire at migrant workers in the Wanpoh area of Kashmir’s Kulgam. Two were killed and one injured in this incident.

Before this, on Saturday, two more migrants were shot and killed. There is a clear pattern according to news reports that the abourers from outside of the state, are being targetted, as were members of the minority Hindu and Sikh communties, who were recently killed along with local Muslim citizens who were shot dead in seperate incidents. The attack this weekend exposes the security situation in the Valley as one that continues to deteriorate with a spate of attacks on civilians, including people who have come to work here from other parts of India. The pattern of targeting outsiders has spread fear among the non-locals while J&K leaders say this is to malign Kashmiris.



According to news reports, the labourers killed on Sunday were identified as Raja Rishidev and Joginder Rishidev. The injured person is identified as Chunchun Reshi Dev and all of them hail from Bihar, as did golgappa seller, Arvind Kumar who was shot dead in Eidgah of Srinagar on Saturday. Sagir Ahmad, a labourer from Uttar Pradesh was killed in Pulwama. Ahmad’s murder also highlights that the attack is on all who have been marked as “outsiders” or non-locals, and not just on those from minority communities.

This repeated attack in the Eidgah of Srinagar on Saturday also highlights how what was once considered one of the most secure places in the Valley is no longer a safe place, after the heinous terrorist attack on two teachers of the Government Boys Higher Secondary School in Eidgah. The school’s Principal Supinder (Satinder) Kour a Sikh, and her colleague Deepak Chand, a Kashmiri Pandit were killed in cold blood on October 7. The Valley is also mourning the killing of Makhan Lal Bindroo, a Kashmiri Pandit, who was popular in Srinagar as a pharmacist and owned a well-known pharmacy, and who was shot by the terrorists on October 5. On October 2, terrorists also shot dead two other Kashmiris Majid Ahmad Gojri and Mohammad Shafi Dar, claiming they were “close to” Indian security forces.


Attacks a “conspiracy to defame Kashmiris”: Farooq Abdullah 

The attacks were carried under a “conspiracy to defame Kashmiris” said National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Sunday, adding, “These killings are unfortunate and done under a conspiracy. Kashmiris are not involved in these killings.” According to news reports, several groups staged anti-Pakistan protests in the Valley on Sunday. 



Migrant workers are easy targets, where is Gov’t, security for them?

Strict action and enhanced security was expected after the killing on October 5, of street food vendor Virendar Paswan, who hailed from Bhagalpur in Bihar. He, like the other migrant workers now killed, had just come to the Union Territory to earn a living. They were killed because they were seen as “outsiders”. The outsider tag is what also resulted in the killing of  Sageer Ahmad, a carpenter from Uttar Pradesh, who was shot dead by terrorists in Pulwama, J&K on Saturday. According to media reports, his  brother Naeem said Sagir Ahmad had been working in Kashmir for the last one year and left behind four daughters back home in Uttar Pradesh. Sageer was reportedly shot dead an hour after Arvind Kumar Sah, 29, a resident of Banka area in Bihar, was shot and killed in Srinagar’s Eidgah area, reported Hindustan Times. These deaths have raised the toll of the targeted civilian killings to nine.



Virendra Paswan’s wife Putul Devi, told the media that she wanted to see her husband’s face one last time before his cremation, but no one helped. He was cremated in Srinagar. 



Paswan, hailed from Vade Saidpur village near Jagadishpur in Bhagalpur, Bihar, sold ‘chaat’ in Kashmir and was the only breadwinner in the family, reported News18, and now his large family is reeling under a debt of Rs 2 lakh. According to the report the family has now been given the money by Infosys Foundation so they can clear the debt. Paswan’s wife Putul Devi, however said, “Money can’t bring my husband back but it will at least help me take care of the children. When my husband decided to work in Kashmir, a lot of people advised him not to do so. What wrong did my husband do? He was only trying to raise our family through an honest living. What has the government done to punish those criminals…”


No order issued to shift non-locals to security camps: J&K Police 

Soon after the spate of attacks against non-locals were reported there was news that the Jammu and Kashmir Police  had issued “an urgent advisory” that “all non-locals have to be shifted to police camps”. It was the Press Trust of India that tweeted at 8:32 pm on Sun, Oct 17, 2021, “Jammu and Kashmir Police asks all its district chiefs to shift non-local labourers to security camps “immediately”



However, the Jammu and Kashmir Police clarified it has not issued any such advisory asking all its district chiefs in the valley to bring non-locals labourers to army, central paramilitary, and police camps in the wake of the attacks on outsiders in the Valley, stated news reports


The political response has been reactive and feeble 

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar Nitish Kumar called the killing of two labourers from Bihar and the gunshot injury suffered by another labourer “unfortunate and sad,” reported Hindustan Times. He also “had a telephonic talk with Lieutenant Governor of J&K Manoj Sinha” on the issue. Nitish Kumar has announced ex-gratia compensation of ₹2 lakh each to the families of Raja Krishidev and Yogendra Rishidev. 



Meanwhile the J&K BJP chief Ravinder Raina said, “Cowardly Pakistani terrorists have once again committed a grave crime by killing labourers who come to Kashmir to earn money by killing labourers who come to Kashmir to earn their livelihood. The conspiracy to target poor labourers was hatched by Pakistan to create a fear among the people,” adding, “None of the terrorists will be spared. The BJP-led government has carried out strong action against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, breaking its backbone in the valley with back-to-back successful operations by security forces.” 

So where is the security for Kashmiri Pandits and other minorities? 

Kashmiri Pandit leader Sanjay Tickoo told Sabrangindia that repeated pleas with LG Manoj Sinha to enhance security for Pandit families had gone unanswered. “Where is the security for KP families in the Valley?” he had asked as the nightmare of 1990 appears to be repeating itself. Now, SabrangIndia’s sister organisation Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has joined the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti to petition the LG to provide adequate security to all secular and patriotic people in the Valley, be they Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs or even Muslims. The petition may be signed here.



J&K government directs Migrant staff not to leave Kashmir

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

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

Kashmir’s Grand Mufti expresses deep grief over civilian killings, appeals for communal 

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



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