Migrants attacked, Kashmir stares at another exodus
Kashmir plagued by terrorist attacks yet again, with migrant labourers being the target this time around. Will terror prevail in the Valley or will the Central government intervene?
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WHAT IS HAPPENING IN KASHMIR, WHO IS BEHIND IT: The Lashkar-e-Taiba-affiliated terror group United Liberation Front killed two Bihari labourers and critically injured another in Kulgam, Kashmir, on October 17. These killings come a day after terrorists shot a roadside snack vendor, also from Bihar, in downtown Srinagar and a carpenter from Uttar Pradesh in Pulwama. 11 people have now lost their lives in targeted attacks on civilians in Jammu and Kashmir this month.
The terror organisation has warned migrant laborers to leave the Kashmir valley. Some of them have already left the Valley; while others flock bus stops, waiting for a vehicle out of Kashmir. “Situation is getting bad here. We're scared, we have children with us & hence going back to our hometown," said a Rajasthani migrant to ANI.
Migrants leaving Kashmir. Photo: Press Trust India
WHO AND WHY: The latest attacks claimed the lives of Raja Reshi Dev and Jogindar Reshi Dev, and left Chun Chun Reshi Dev injured. These civilian-focused terrorist attacks began on October 2, when two Kashmiri Muslims were killed. Three days later Makhan Lal Bindroo, a Kashmiri Pandit businessman and Virendra Paswan, a pani-puri seller from Bihar were shot and killed. On October 7, a Kashmiri Sikh Supinder Kour and a Kashmiri Pandit, Deepak Chand, were killed in a Srinagar school.
EYEWITNESSES RECOUNT HORROR: “We were sitting in our room when one of our colleagues came and said three of our men have been shot. We took them to the hospital where two were declared brought dead,” said an eyewitness, describing the aftermath of the October 17 attack. Another eyewitness recounts, “They (labourers) were shot six times by the terrorists. I don't know how many gunmen were there as I was inside the room.” (WATCH: Terrorists kill 2 non-local labourers in J&K's Kulgam, third attack in two days)
Another exodus? Photo: Press Trust India
WHO SAID WHAT:
- IGP Vijay Kumar (Kashmir range): “All non-local labourers in your respective jurisdiction should be brought to the nearest police or central paramilitary force or army establishment just now. The matter is most urgent.
- Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the deceased’s families. He has also spoken to J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha for additional security for migrants from Bihar.
- J&K Governor Manoj Sinha: “I strongly condemn the despicable terror attack on civilians in Kulgam... Our security forces will give a befitting reply to the terrorists. The J&K government stands by the families in this time of grief.”
- Former J&K Chief Minister and PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti: "Strongly condemn today’s attack on a street vendor who sadly succumbed. Such unfortunate incidents only reinforce the immediate need to reach out to the people of J&K by initiating a constructive dialogue."
Strongly condemn today’s attack on a street vendor who sadly succumbed. Such unfortunate incidents only reinforce the immediate need to reach out to the people of J&K by initiating a constructive dialogue.— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) October 16, 2021
- National Conference's Omar Abdullah: "Another day, another dose of bad news from the valley. Two civilians, both non-local, shot and killed in a terror attack in Kulgam district of South Kashmir. I reservedly condemn this attack & pray for the souls of the Raja & Jogindar Reshi Dev."
Another day, another dose of bad news from the valley. Two civilians, both non-local, shot and killed in a terror attack in Kulgam district of South Kashmir. I reservedly condemn this attack & pray for the souls of the Raja & Jogindar Reshi Dev.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 17, 2021
THE O: With the incessant attacks on non-local people in Kashmir, terror groups have a specific aim in mind: drive the migrant worker out of Kashmir. The Valley is staring at yet another exodus after the 1990 horror if the government doesn't intervene at this juncture.