Wind of panic in Kashmir where religious minorities are the target of terrorists

A member of the Sikh community blocks a road to protest the murder of a female teacher at a public school in Srinagar, India on Friday, October 8, 2021.

The double murder took place on the grounds of a public school on the outskirts of Srinagar, the largest city in Kashmir. The principal of the establishment, Sikh, and a teacher, Hindu, were coldly killed, of several revolver bullets, fired at point blank range, Thursday (October 7th). According to witnesses, the attackers demanded to know the identity of the personnel present and removed the Muslims. No student was present. Two days earlier, a pharmacist from Srinagar, known and appreciated, had been killed, as well as a street vendor from Bihar and the head of a taxi association in Bandipora. On October 3, two other civilians were shot dead by terrorists, who each time used the same modus operandi.

In all, seven people were murdered in six days in Kashmir, the only region in India with a Muslim majority, where separatist groups have waged a bloody struggle against the Delhi authorities since 1989 and demanded independence or merger with Pakistan. border. The conflict in Kashmir has claimed nearly 60,000 lives in two decades.

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These targeted assassinations were claimed by the Resistance Front, a formation born after Narendra Modi’s brutal decision to revoke, on August 5, 2019, the semi-autonomy enjoyed by Kashmir. Police suspect her of being affiliated with Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), a terrorist group based in Pakistan. India had feared for several weeks that the return of the Taliban to Afghanistan would lead to a resurgence of terrorist activity in Kashmir.

The targeted pandits

In a statement, the Resistance Front threatens to carry out other actions. “We want it to be clear that foreigners, home owners, lackeys and collaborators, whatever their religion, will not be spared”, is it written.

In fact, the organization has clearly targeted minorities, Sikh and Hindu, although the victims also include Muslims. The pharmacist was a symbol, a pundit, a Hindu from Kashmir, who had never left his region even when a wave of terror in 1990 had scared between 200,000 and 300,000 Hindus. Narendra Modi’s government has encouraged their return since 2010, with the promise of employment and housing. The downcast teacher was one of them.

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According to police figures, 28 civilians have been killed since the start of the year, the majority of whom are Muslims. All the opposition parties have condemned these heinous acts, but they also denounce the strategy of communal tension of the Modi government and its inability to contain terrorism. The coup in August 2019 did not help. The deployment of thousands of additional security forces in an already ultra-militarized region, the complete closure of the valley for several months, the freezing of communications and the Internet, the arbitrary arrest of hundreds of people, including officials opposition, restrictions on movement and assembly failed to restore security, despite Modi’s promises, but fueled growing resentment among the population.

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