Witnessing the Hindu genocide in Kashmir, it can be assumed that the valley would be emptied of its Hindu population in a matter of days. Moreover, Kashmiri Hindus will become India’s worst treated refugees- A problem that is visible but is not being acknowledged. Recently, A Kashmiri Hindu who ran two medical stores in Srinagar was shot dead by terrorists. Within an hour, another Kashmiri Hindu was also killed. Given these attacks, it can be asserted that the Hindu genocide in Kashmir has begun yet again and if the Government still does not take note of it, the valley will have no Kashmiri Hindus left.
Chemist killed by the terrorists
Claimed by several reports, Makhan Lal Bindroo, a Kashmiri Pandit and owner of the two medical stores in Srinagar was killed by terrorists on Tuesday. 68-year-old Bindroo was shot by the terrorists at around 7 pm while he was attending customers at his shop in Srinagar’s Iqbal Park area.
The “popular and trusted” Bindroo Chemists, which he owned was set up by his family in 1947 at Hari Singh High Street in Srinagar. Officials said the family had stayed back in Srinagar even as the militancy peaked in the 1990s and most members of the Kashmiri Pandit community migrated out.
In another incident after an hour of the attack, terrorists shot a street vendor Virendar Paswan, selling golgappa on a handcart at the Madeen Sahib area in Hawal. The Police informed that the Resistance Force (TRF), an outfit affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba, claimed responsibility for two of the attacks.
Even the Hindu politicians were not spared in the valley
It is no longer hidden that Kashmiri Hindus are a persecuted community that faced heart-wrenching violence by the terrorists. There are not only the businessmen and street vendors who are being targeted by the terrorists. Even the politicians and leaders belonging to the particular community are not safe in the valley.
For an instance, the killing of a Hindu Sarpanch, Ajay Pandita in Anantnag, South Kashmir’s Lukbawan village, had clearly depicted the ground realities of Kashmir. Ajay Pandita, affiliated with the Congress, was shot dead in June 2020 by bike-borne terrorists, who assassinated him for being a representative of Indian democracy in the valley, and also because he was a Hindu.
In a recent incident, BJP leader Rakesh Pandita was also killed by terrorists late in south Kashmir’s Tral area. Three terrorists opened fire at him while visiting a friend, Mushtaq Ahmad.
The dark and cold night of January 1990
Centuries of co-existence were set aside as neighbours turned on Kashmiri Hindus, taunting them to flee after leaving behind their womenfolk. Overnight, Kashmir became another front-line state in the battle of political Islam. In 1989, the then Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir ordered the release of around 70 terrorists Farooq Abdullah, which led to the insurgency and anti-Hindu atmosphere in the valley.
Hit lists were being generated, threatening letters were being put out every week aimed at Kashmiri Pandits, and their gruesome murders and rapes were on the rise. The loudspeakers in mosques announced that the male Kashmiri Pandits who were leaving the Kashmir valley, leave their women behind. Kashmiri Muslim terror groups issued warnings in newspapers to get Kashmiri Pandits to leave.
The dark night of January 19, 1990, witnessed horrifying scenarios when Kashmiri Muslims gathered in mosques across the valley, shouting anti-India, and anti-Pandit slogans. Hundreds of innocent Pandits were tortured, killed, and raped.
In the aftermath of terrorism in the Valley, Kashmiri Hindus had no choice but to leave. As per the report by Jammu-Kashmir Study Centre, by March 1990, more than 90 per cent of the Hindus residing in the Valley had left their homes. Over 700,000 Kashmiri Pandits had to leave their house and property between 1986 and 1990.
The Wandhama massacre, 1998
The Hindu exodus from the valley did not stop even after such horrifying incidents occurred in 1990. In another massacre that took place in 1998, that is, the Wandhama massacre witnessed upsetting scenes where not even children were spared by the terrorists, who termed it as part of their separatist movement. The Kashmiri Pandit genocide involved the murder and rape of thousands while, over 600,000 to 700,000 Kashmiri Pandits turned refugees in their own country, cleansing the valley of its Hindu population, one that followed the truly indigenous ways of the valley for thousands of years.
In the late 1980s, when the exodus of the Hindu population started, they were estimated to be around 6-7 lakh out of more than 50 lakh people living in the valley. As of 2016, only 2-3 thousand Kashmiri Pandits remain in the Kashmir valley.
Situation worsening despite government’s efforts
Ever since the abrogation of article 370 and the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, the government has adopted various measures to improve the security situation in the valley. With the move, the government aimed at the return of Kashmiri Hindus to the valley. Even the 2019 general election manifesto of BJP had promised ‘safe return of Kashmiri Pandits’.
In a bid to ensure the return of Kashmiri Hindus, the Jammu and Kashmir administration, on Tuesday, launched an online portal (http://jkmigrantrelief.nic.in) to assist them to reclaim their lost lands.
Moreover, the government also stepped up few measures for safety and security in the valley. The CID wing of the J&K Police ordered to refute the security clearance required for passport and other government services of every individual involved in stone-pelting or insubordinate activities.
Earlier reported by TFI, Syed Ali Shah Geelani did not get the grand funeral as same as that of a terrorist Burhan Wani in 2016. It was only because the J&K administration took pre-emptive measures to prevent a breakdown of law and order as lakhs had descended in Kashmir’s Tral for Wani’s funeral, and what was witnessed subsequently was a naked show of radicalism, extremism and separatism.
Despite such commendable steps by the Government to bring back Kashmiri Hindus home, it has somewhere failed to take preventive measures on the ground level for those residing in the valley. Until the government does not take a strong decision to proceed with strict laws to counter terrorism in the valley, such attacks and killings of innocent Kashmiri Hindus will continue to happen.