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Last Kashmiri Pandit, migrates to Jammu from terror-hit village!

Dolly Kumari was the last Kashmiri Pandit in Shopian district’s Chaudharygund village. Her departure comes after all other seven Pandit families living in the village quietly migrated to Jammu. ‘There is atmosphere of fear. What else I could have done’, said Ms Dolly. Ms Dolly said that ‘she was trying to be brave when she decided to stay back for a few more days even after all other Kashmiri pandits had left the village. I will come back if situation improves. It’s my home. Who wants to leave her home. I feel very sad that I had to leave my home’.

On October 15, terrorists shot and killed Kashmiri Pandit Puran Krishan Bhat in a village called Chotigam’s apple orchard. A Kashmiri Pandit was assassinated outside of his home in the village of Chowderygund two months earlier. The village’s Pandit dwellings are now secured with locks. Thousands of apple boxes have been left behind for Muslim neighbours to deliver to mandis.

The Pandit families of Chowderygund and Chotipora villages had 11 pandit families, all of them have now migrated to Jammu. One villager said that her brother in Jammu asked her to move out of the village due to fear over targeted killings. The district administration, however, denied that the Pandit families were leaving because of fear over recent killings.

An ex-serviceman said fear after recent targeted killings has driven pandits out of their homes and locals are now taking care of their apple produce. The reports are baseless. Proper and robust security arrangements have been made by the administration said a statement issued by district administration.

In 1990, thousands of pandit families had migrated from Kashmir. Five Kashmiri pandits have been killed in the Valley in the last one year. Ms Dolly has entrusted her neighbor to take care of the harvest and dispatch apple boxes to Mandis outside Kashmir. Ghulam Mohammad Shah, a 76-year-old man, said he will ensure not single apple or apple box is lost.

About 6,000 Kashmiri Pandit employees who had returned to the Valley as part of the center’s special employment scheme have been refusing to report to work for the past six months in a show of protest against the targeted attacks because they are afraid of attacks. They have insisted on moving to Jammu until the security situation in Kashmir is better.


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