Kashmiri pundits leaving their homes in Shopian, Kashmir, fearing targeted killings. There are around 50 houses in Chaudhary Gund village in the Shopian district. A fleet of armoured vehicles and a large number of paramilitaries are stationed here. But still, the villagers now find this security redundant.
Hindu families flee Kashmir
The Kashmiri pundits who have been living here for decades have now left the village and go to Jammu. The Indian Express says that since Oct. 18, when suspected militants killed a Kashmiri Pandit Puran Krishna Bhat in front of his home, 10 Hindu families have left the village for Jammu.
One villager told the newspaper: “They told us that they live in fear and will move to Jammu. We wanted to stop them, but we couldn’t. We know it is difficult for them to live here in such conditions.” Is not easy. We hope he comes back here at some point.”
Army personnel posted outside the village’s Hindu temple said that several Hindu families were leaving the village one after the other for the past three days. A jawan said, “There was only one Hindu woman left here, but this morning she too went to Jammu.”
It’s harvest time in Kashmir. Hindu families leaving the village have asked their Muslim neighbours to look after the gardens.
But Jawahar Lal, who left the village and went to Jammu with his family, says that he left the house in fear.
He told the newspaper, “This (Bhat’s murder) was the first such case in our village in 32 years. It created a lot of fear. We didn’t want to leave the village, but what else could we do. We reached Jammu. Gone and wandering here and there.”
Paramilitary personnel deployed
A person named Trilok Chand also said that he had left the village out of fear after Bhat’s murder. He said, “We cannot blame our neighbours, we have been with them like brothers. But there was an atmosphere of fear after this murder. So we decided to leave the village. We hope to return soon. “
The Muslims of the area also blame this murder for the migration. A Muslim woman told the newspaper, “Some people used to go to Jammu during the winter season, especially those who are old and weak. But the rest lived here. This time, they have all left the village.”
Paramilitary personnel deployed outside the village temple said Hindu families have left one after another for the past three days. “There was a lonely woman staying here. She also left for Jammu this morning,” a security person said.
The Shopian district administration has denied that the Hindu families left the Valley out of fear. “Many families migrate after the harvest is over, due to the onset of winter,” he said in a statement Wednesday.
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