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Sikhs Hurt, Angry Over Killings, But Won’t Leave Kashmir

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By: Aarti Tikoo
Updated: October 11, 2021 18:19
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SRINAGAR: Supinder Kour’s children are numb and her other family members inconsolable. Principal of Government Higher Secondary School, Eidgah in Srinagar, Kour was shot dead along with a non-Kashmiri Hindu teacher, Deepak Chand, last week.

Speaking to The New Indian, acquaintances and other mourners at her house in Aloochi Bagh, Srinagar, said that Supinder and Deepak were singled out from the entire school staff on October 7, by the terrorists. Eyewitnesses have told the relatives that Supinder begged the terrorists not to kill her and even offered to resign from the school principal’s post in lieu of her life.

Angry at the administration for its failure to protect the Sikh minority, Supinder’s family seeks answers. “Was the government sleeping? They need to wake up,” an aggrieved father-in-law of Supinder said.

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Surrounded by dozens of women, Supinder’s mother-in-law wails inconsolably. “Why did they kill her? They should have killed me. I am an old woman. How will I raise her two small children,” she breaks down while looking at Supinder’s school-going daughter and son. Also Read: Kashmiri Pandit Woman Sarpanch Urges Her Displaced Community To Protest At Lal Chowk, Srinagar

Relatives, friends and Sikh community leaders at the mourning have been repeatedly asking why an unarmed, innocent and kind-hearted woman was selectively targeted. “She used to raise and educate Muslim orphans on her own. We are unable to understand why a gracious person who was only educating children got killed. It has caused tremendous sorrow, anger and fear among the Sikh community in Kashmir,” Navtej Singh, secretary, Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee of Srinagar, said.

Muslim friends and acquaintances have been visiting the family and urging them not to leave the valley. An elected corporator of Natipora Srinagar, Shaheen Bhat while extending her condolences to the family, assured them the support of local Muslims. “This is not 1989-90. We stand by the Sikh and Hindu communities. We are with you,” Bhat said, while holding Supinder’s mother-in-law’s hand.

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A friend sharing his grief with the family told The New Indian that even as the killing has triggered a fear psychosis in the community, Sikhs in Kashmir are determined to stay put. “Leaving our homes is not good for the social fabric of Kashmir or the rest of India,” he said. Another Sikh friend of the family shouted, “Not a single Sikh will leave Kashmir. It’s final.”

Harjeet Singh, President, Sikh Minority Forum, told The New Indian that Sikhs have full faith in the government that they will ensure their security and safety in Kashmir.

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