Minority Kashmiri Hindus fear “something fishy” in South Kashmir

KPSS has appealed to the J&K High Court for a court-monitored a SIT probe into the recent killings

Kashmiri pandits

On Monday, three Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were gunned down in an encounter with security forces in the Drabgam area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama region. But this has done little to offer any assurance of security to the 800 Kashmir Pandits who live in South Kashmir, as they continue to fear for their safety.

The minority Hindu Kashmiri Pandit community has been in the crosshairs of terrorists over the last few months, and many prominent and beloved members of the community including pharmacists, teachers, government employees and businessmen have been gunned down so far. In fact, Ajay Pandita, a Sarpanch of a village in Anantnag, was killed way back in June 2020. By May 31, 2022, as many as 12 people have been killed.

On June 13, evening, the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS) tweeted saying they felt “something fishy” was going on.



When SabrangIndia spoke to KPSS chief Sanjay Tickoo, he told us, “All I can tell you at present is that some of our sources, who are ordinary Kashmiris, not affiliated with any terrorist organization, have told us that something is about to happen.” While Tickoo did not elaborate what exactly was the nature of the treat he said, “We have advised all people to not let anyone other than the guards in after evening.”

KPSS has been at the forefront of protests demanding protection for the community. According to Tickoo, “At present a total of 808 families, comprising over 3,400 people live in different parts of the Kashmir Valley.” All these people are vulnerable, especially since the security provided to them was withdrawn by the government.

Now, the KPSS has written to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, appealing for a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the recent deaths. It has also appealed that the HC monitors the probe. They have brought to light threat posters issued by terrorist groups and annexed them with the letter to the HC. KPSS has also alleged that the government is not permitting Kashmiri Pandits to leave.

The entire letter, list of names of the dead, and threat posters from terrorist organisations may be viewed here: 

“We hope that after the summer vacation ends and the court starts functioning again, our letter is converted into a Public Interest Litigation by the honourable HC,” said Tickoo.

KPSS also tweeted a copy of a previous letter to Home Minister Amit Shah where they had expressed disappointment at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s failure to adequately address concerns repeatedly raised by the minority non-migrant Kashmiri Hindu community, many of whose people are forced to live amidst poverty and squalor in refugee camps, with few or no employment opportunities and with a constant threat to their lives.



Meanwhile, IGP (Kashmir Range) Vijay Kumar told reporters in Srinagar on Monday that the three men killed in the Pulwama encounter have been identified as Junaid Ahmed Sheergojri of Gadoora, Fazil Nazir Bhat of Dabgram and Irfan Ahmad Malik of Abral Nikas. He told Times of India, “The encounter started on Saturday evening after a joint team of the Army, CRPF and J&K Police launched a cordon-and-search operation in Drabgam based on intelligence inputs received by SSP Pulwama about the presence of three local terrorists in the area.” Police have recovered two AK 47 rifles and a pistol from the site of the firefight. One of the terrorists killed was involved in the June 2 killing of a brick kiln worker. Terrorists have been targeting not only those Kashmir Pandit families who did not migrate during the exodus in the 1990s, but also migrant workers from other states, as well a security personnel. In a separate encounter in separate encounter in the Kreesbal Palpora area on the outskirts of Srinagar, another terrorist Adil Parray was gunned down on Sunday. He was believed to have been involved in the killing of two policemen and injuring a nine-year-old girl.


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