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Kashmiri Pandits won’t be posted in vulnerable areas: Kashmir DC

Members of the Kashmiri Pandit community have been protesting since the May 12 killing of a government employee, Rahul Bhat, by suspected militants in the tehsil office of Chadoora in Budgam district.

By: Express News Service | Srinagar |
Updated: May 19, 2022 6:07:02 am
Kashmiri Pandits protest in Srinagar. (Express Photo: Shuaib Masoodi)

After nearly a week of protests by members of the Kashmiri Pandit community, Kashmir Divisional Commissioner K Pandurang Pole on Wednesday said he has passed directions to all heads of government departments to ensure that employees from the community are not posted in “vulnerable areas” but in towns or district headquarters.

Any written order to this effect, however, is yet to be passed.

Members of the Kashmiri Pandit community have been protesting since the May 12 killing of a government employee, Rahul Bhat, by suspected militants in the tehsil office of Chadoora in Budgam district. Employees working under the PM’s package in Kashmir have refused to return to work since the killing and are demanding postings to safer areas.

“I held a meeting today and passed directions to all chief engineers, directors, HoDs that they (Kashmiri Pandit employees) should be given duties in towns or district headquarters. So that they are not in vulnerable areas, their travel distance can be reduced and that a sense of security can be instilled,” Pole said.

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“All employees have to work within a code and competence. As far as all service-related matters are concerned, whether it is issues of their postings, promotions or completing construction of accommodations as soon as possible, those are being resolved at the earliest,” he said.

Residents of the government colony at Sheikhpora, Budgam, which houses employees working under the PM package, meanwhile continued their protests against the administration. On Wednesday evening, after a candle light vigil for the Bhat, employees blocked the airport road for at least 20 minutes.

On Sunday, members of the mainsteam coalition People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) had met Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, seeking a “safe and secure working environment for the [Kashmiri] Pandit employees.”

Members of the state unit of the BJP had also met Sinha, urging him to consider the demands of the Kashmiri Pandit community.

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