Minority Hindu Kashmiris protest killing of community member

May 12, 2022, 4:01 PM | Updated: May 13, 2022, 8:52 am
Meenakshi mourns during the cremation of her husaband Rahul Bhat, a government employee, killed on ...

Meenakshi mourns during the cremation of her husaband Rahul Bhat, a government employee, killed on Thursday, in Jammu, India, Friday, May 13, 2022. Bhat, who was a minority Kashmiri Hindu known as "pandits," was killed by suspected rebels inside his office in Chadoora town in the Indian portion of Kashmir. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

(AP Photo/Channi Anand)

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Hindus in Indian-controlled Kashmir staged protests on Friday, a day after assailants fatally shot a Hindu government employee in the disputed Muslim-majority region.

Police blamed anti-India rebels for the killing of Rahul Bhat, a revenue clerk, inside an office complex in Chadoora town on Thursday.

They said two militants entered Bhat’s office and fired at him. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Scores of minority Hindus, locally known as Pandits, took to the streets in at least three places and blocked roads to demand that Bhat’s killers be brought to justice. They chanted slogans against the government and India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party, blaming them for inaction.

It was the first time that Pandits have organized simultaneous protests in Kashmir.

Dozens scuffled with government forces in at least one location. Police used tear gas and batons in the Budgam area, where Bhat lived in a protected settlement, to stop protesters from marching to a nearby airport road.

“The government has totally failed” to provide security to Kashmiri Hindus, said Sanjay Kumar, a protester. “It’s a collapse of every system.”

Most Pandits, about 200,000, fled from Kashmir after an anti-India rebellion erupted in 1989, with many believing that it was also aimed at wiping them out. Bhat was among an initial group of about 4,000 who returned after 2010 under a government resettlement plan that provided jobs and housing.

In a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Manoj Sinha, New Delhi’s administrator in the region, at least 300 Pandits who returned under the 2010 plan threatened to resign from government service following Bhat’s killing. They said the mass resignation was “the only solution to save our lives.”

Last year, suspected rebels killed a minority Sikh and several Hindus, including immigrant workers from Indian states, in a wave of targeted shootings in the region.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and is claimed by both. Most Muslim Kashmiris in the Indian-controlled portion support the rebels’ goal of uniting the territory, either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

Most Muslims in Kashmir deny that Hindus have been systematically targeted. But tensions between the groups were renewed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014 and the Indian government pursued a plan to house returning migrant Kashmiri Hindus in new townships.

Muslim leaders described the plan as an attempt to create communal divisions by separating the population along religious lines, particularly after India stripped the region of its semi-autonomy in 2019 and removed inherited protections on land and jobs.

Also on Friday, two suspected militants and a police official were killed in separate incidents.

Police said two militants were killed in a gunfight with government forces in northwestern Bandipora, and a police officer was fatally shot by assailants in southern Pulwama area. Police blamed militants for the police officer’s death.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Eviation's "Alice", the world's first all-electric commuter airplane, takes off for its first fligh...
Associated Press

Prototype electric airplane takes first flight

A prototype, all-electric airplane took its first flight Tuesday morning in central Washington state.
17 hours ago
This undated photo provided by the Nevada Department of Corrections shows Porfirio Duarte-Herrera, ...
Associated Press

Inmate serving life for fatal Vegas bombing escapes prison

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 42-year-old convicted bombmaker serving life in prison for a deadly 2007 explosion outside a Las Vegas Strip resort has escaped from a Nevada state prison, officials said Tuesday. Officials realized Porfirio Duarte-Herrera was missing during a morning head count at Southern Desert Correctional Center near Las Vegas, and a state […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Judge green lights defamation lawsuit against Fox, Lou Dobbs

NEW YORK (AP) — A defamation lawsuit against Fox Corp., Fox News Network and Lou Dobbs can proceed toward trial, a judge ruled Monday after concluding that a Venezuelan businessman had made sufficient claims of being unfairly accused of trying to corrupt the 2020 U.S. presidential election to be permitted to gather more evidence. The […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Alabama prisoners refusing to work in 2nd day of protest

MONTGOMERY, Ala (AP) — Alabama inmates were in their second day of a work strike Tuesday, refusing to labor in prison kitchens, laundries and factories to protest conditions in the state’s overcrowded, understaffed lock-ups. Prisoners including those who provide food, laundry and janitorial services refused to show up for work at major state prisons, leaving […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Attorneys Mark Geragos, left, and Brian Kabateck speak to the media outside the United State...
Associated Press

Celebrity attorney Geragos subject of fraud probe

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The State Bar of California said Tuesday it is again investigating Mark Geragos, one of California’s best-known celebrity lawyers, and another prominent attorney over how money was spent from a multimillion-dollar insurance settlement related to the Armenian Genocide. Geragos and Los Angeles attorney Brian Kabateck denied any wrongdoing and said they […]
17 hours ago
Tape cordons off the area around the scene where multiple people were shot near a high school in Ph...
Associated Press

Teen killed, 4 wounded in shooting after football scrimmage

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 14-year-old youth was killed and four other students wounded in a shooting near a northwest Philadelphia high school athletic field after a football scrimmage, authorities said. Police said players were walking off the field behind Roxborough High School after a scrimmage involving three schools when at least two people opened fire […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Minority Hindu Kashmiris protest killing of community member