Kashmiri Pandits can live with us, use our lands, says Muslim cleric

In the backdrop of Kashmiri Pandits and non-locals being targeted by militants in Jammu and Kashmir in the last few weeks, the cleric of Anantnag district has offered the minorities a safe haven.

During the Friday congregational prayers in Jamia Masjid, the cleric – Maulana Fayaz Amjadi – condemned the recent killings. He said, “If any Muslim is doing this thinking it is jihad, we denounce this jihad. Islam has not given permission for jihad to commit atrocities on a minority or any other person or to kill the person.”

He appealed to the administration and the government to protect the minority’s rights and let them live peacefully, without fear in the Valley.

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“We request that minorities are given protection in Kashmir. As you provide security to minorities here, do the same to us in the entire country,” he added.

In less than a week, two Kashmiri Pandits and a native of Rajasthan were shot dead by militants in the Valley. The incidents have resulted in intense protests by the Pandit community who have threatened to leave the state if no proper security is provided by the government.

The protesters said they will not resume their duties as the government has allegedly failed to stop targeted killings and provide a secure atmosphere for them.

“Nearly 8,000 employees from different districts of Jammu are working in Kashmir under inter-district transfer policy and we are not going to return and resume our duties in the present atmosphere. We are serving there for the last 15 years, but are feeling insecure and tense in view of the spurt in the targeted killings,” said Ramesh Chand, a teacher posted in the Anantnag district.

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