Deafening silence over Kashmir targeted killings must break

New Delhi: The cycle of targeted killings in Kashmir claimed another innocent victim on Thursday as the killers resorted to blatant lying to justify this mad, murderous act.

Vijay Kumar, manager of Ellaquai Dehati Bank (Regional Rural Bank) Areh Mohanpora village in Kulgam district had joined the branch just 4 days back.

Aged 21, Kumar was married barely 40 days ago. He had come all the way from Rajasthan to serve the rural bank for dispensing credit to the poorest of the poor among the local people.

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Obviously, he walked into the bank branch around 10 a.m. on Thursday without any fear. He hardly concerned himself with local politics. He was a young professional who believed in goodness of the common men whom he served in the Kashmir Valley since 2019 after joining the rural bank.

The killer walked in and shot Kumar inside the Bank premises. The killer was obviously as deranged and indoctrinated as his handlers.

A front outfit of the LeT called Kashmir Freedom Fighters claimed Kumar’s murder.

“He was holding a domicile certificate which is part of India’s design to change the demography of Kashmir,” said the letter shot by the killers to the media.

Kumar had never applied for nor was he holding any domicile certificate, said the controlling office.

On May 12, Rajni Bala, a Hindu teacher belonging to Samba district of Jammu division was killed at her school in Kulgam district.

One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand why Kumar, Rajni Bala or the other Kashmiri Pandit employees serving in the Valley were killed.

There has been remarkable economic activity through unparalleled tourism this year so far. Kashmiri hoteliers, taxi drivers, handicraft sellers, pavement vendors and all others connected with tourism directly or indirectly have been making some living this year after two years of hiatus because of the Covid pandemic.

The poor Shikarawallahs and the houseboat owners on the Dal and the Nigeen lake have been earning their livelihood after many years this season.

The so-called ‘freedom fighters of Kashmir’ cannot tolerate Kashmiris making an honest living. If the poor earn their bread and butter honourably then the terrorists cannot have the youth to throw grenades at crowded markets for Rs 500 per throw.

No religion, no nationhood, no ethnicity permits killing of innocent people for any cause or reason.

Now that the Kashmiri Pandit employees working in Kashmir, predominant of them school teachers, have withdrawn into secured accommodations, the obvious result is that Kashmiri children, each one of them belonging to the majority Muslim families, will go to classes without any teachers.

The terrorists want Kashmiri children to become uneducated, uninformed youth who can be lured with weapons as their only means of sustenance.

Kashmiri Pandit government employees and other non-locals serving in the Valley will be protected and the killers will be brought to justice.

The cycle of targeted killings will, however, not end unless the deafening silence adopted by the overwhelming majority of Kashmiris over these acts of madness is broken.

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