Kashmir seems to be reeling under the proverbial lull before the storm as the government in Delhi and LG Manoj Sinha’s administration in Srinagar are working on a strategy to deal with a new situation where Pakistan-backed terrorists are trying to threaten religious minorities to revive the horrific memories of the exodus of the fear-stricken Hindus, 30 years ago.
As a precaution, non-Muslims employees working in the J&K governrment and posted in the Valley, have been allowed to go on a 10-day leave to ensure their safety.
Sources said it's not an official order and the employees have been verbally conveyed this message in view of the threat perception.
Lt Governor Sinha flew to Delhi last night and is expected to take part in a high-level meeting to be presided over by union home minister Amit Shah.
Top guns of India's security apparatus would join the meeting and chalk out the response to this delicate situation in Kashmir that where the fast returning peace and normalcy are at risk if such attacks continue.
Though the Jammu and Kashmir police have intensified the vigil and the counterinsurgency campaign across Kashmir there is palpable fear among non-Muslims many of whom had started returning home after 30 years of exile. Stray cases of Hindus leaving Kashmir have also been reported.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has granted ten days leave to the non-Muslim employees from work to keep them safe.
Local media also reported that a team of anti-terror specialists has landed in Srinagar last evening to assist the local police with the investigation of the recent cases of terror attacks.
Though usual politics over the incidents of targeted killings of minority members have started in Kashmir, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had emerged as a saner voice in this cacophony of ‘blaming the center.”
After visiting the family of the slain teacher Supinder Kour in Aloochi Bagh Omer Abdullah said that in such a situation no community was immune to terrorists’ targets. He said it was no time for politicking and asked everyone including the government not to let Hindus and Sikhs leave the Valley. ”Let us not commit the same mistake that happened 30 years ago,” he told reporters outside her house.
Terrorists have killed at least four non-Muslim in three incidents this week creating panic among people. Many non-Muslims have got government jobs under a special scheme to incentivize the minorities’ return to Kashmir and it was working well.
The killing of Deepak Chand Mehra, a Kashmiri who was appointed as a teacher three years ago and had since been living in Srinagar, by terrorists is sure to act as a dampener.
However, the government is trying to do some damage control by allowing the non-Muslims to stay home till the police cracked the cases of recent terror attacks on members of minorities.
Kashmir IG Vijay Kumar said, "28 civilians have been killed so far this year, including five from the local Hindu-Sikh community."