Shopian Pandit’s killing triggers protests across J-K

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SRINAGAR — People across Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday protested against the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

Notably, Puran Krishan Bhat was fired upon by terrorists near his residence in the Chowdhary Gund area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district this afternoon, resulting in his death.

Eyewitnesses told the news agency KNS that the demonstrations were also held in south Kashmir’s Kulgam, Shopian and Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora areas of north Kashmir and other areas close to Kashmiri Pandit transit camps.

Many of those protesting were seen carrying candles to register their protest and demanded that the administration of the Union Territory should ensure that Kashmiri Pandits are safe in the Valley.

“We have always been targeted for being who we are, and there has been no security despite claims from the government,” said one of the protesters at Shopian. “No religion calls for the killing of innocents, and both Hindus and Muslims are being targeted here in Kashmir. It is only a human who dies here. I hope this ends,” said another protester at Bandipora.

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“Our worst fears have once again come true with the latest killing. We have already fled the valley otherwise we feel many of us have been done to death,” one of the protesters, Nikhil Kaul said. He said they have been saying that the situation in the valley is not safe for them but this government remained unmoved and paid no heed to their pleas for relocation.

Furthermore, several civil society members in several districts of Kashmir took out a candlelight march even as condemnations poured in against the killing of Bhat. “We condemn the killing of innocents in Kashmir. We stand in solidarity with the bereaved family,” said one of the protesters at Kupwara.

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Meanwhile, various civil society groups of Srinagar on Sunday lodged a protest against the killing of the Kashmiri Pandit.

In a tweet, the Srinagar district administration said, “Various civil society groups of Srinagar lodged a protest at Lal Chowk against the killing of Puran Krishan Bhat in Shopian yesterday. People from all walks of life participated in the peaceful candle march and expressed solidarity with the family of the deceased.”

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