Terror Fallout: Choice Posting For Kashmiri Pandits, Other Minorities

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By: Aakash Ahmad
Updated: 05 June, 2022 8:16 pm IST
Kashmiri Pandits protest the killing of Rahul Bhat

SRINAGAR: While outrage over leaking the transfer list continues, the minority community employees that included Kashmiri pandits will get a posting of their choice. Orders for the same have been issued.

The Kashmir Divisional Commissioner’s office has directed all Deputy Commissioners to consult minority community employees for further posting.

“Contact every minority community and enquire about their interest in transfer,” Divisional Commissioner officials have directed the DCs.

About a week back, the J&K administration initiated a massive transfer drive for Kashmiri Pandits and minorities serving in different departments in Kashmir under the Prime Minister Employment Package.

Kashmiri Pandit employees under the Prime Minister Employment Package have been protesting since Rahul Bhat was killed in his office in Budgam, after being shot at by terrorists, on 12 May. Besides staging protests, they have been threatening mass exodus since the killing of Rahul Bhat.

Rahul Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit Hindu, was killed by terrorists in Kashmir, triggering massive protests by the displaced community.

 

These employees have a single demand – being transferred to locations not affected by terrorism. The Pandits were employed under the prime minister’s special package in 2012.

There are about 5,000 employees living in unsecured accommodations in the valley.

Official sources said in Srinagar district pandit employees, which included teachers, officials from the health department and engineers from revenue and Jal Shakti departments, have been transferred. “The number of Pandit employees transferred in different departments has crossed 320,” a senior official of the J&K government said.

The official also said that PM Package Employees from volatile downtown areas that include Soura, Nowhatta, Khunmoh, Panth Chowk, Nowgam and HMT have been transferred and posted at district headquarters and the Civil Lines area of Srinagar.

In south Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag – the hotbed of terror attacks – several Pandit employees have been transferred and brought to district headquarters.

The transfer drive has also been taken up in the Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora districts of north Kashmir.

The transfers have given rise to controversy as the political parties in the valley have questioned the government and the officials responsible for making the list public. They alleged that Pandit employees will now be vulnerable.

“Making the transfer list public on social media platforms is a big security breach as terrorists now have a clear idea of who is posted where,” BJP chief spokesman Altaf Thakur said here. “The government must take strong note of it and find out who is making the fresh transfer list of migrant Kashmiri Pandits public at a time when targeted killings are taking place in the valley. ‘‘

He alleged that the government was taking serious steps for the protection of Kashmiri Pandits, but some officials are playing spoilsport.

Former J&K Law Minister and senior National Conference leader Ali Mohammad Sagar termed publicity of the list as a big concern.

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