Three Kashmiri Pandits Among 14 People Belonging to Minorities Killed in J&K This Year: Home Ministry

The Ministry of Home Affairs told the Parliament on Wednesday that the Central Government has taken several steps for the protection of minorities in Jammu and Kashmir. The ministry listed the steps in a written reply and said 14 people from minorities, including three Kashmiri Pandits, were killed in the union territory between January and November 30.

“Various measures have been taken by the government to protect the lives of minorities, including group security in the form of static guards, day and night area domination, round-the-clock nakas at strategic points, patrolling and speculative cordon and search operations. (CASOs), security arrangements through suitable deployment. The Home Ministry in a reply said, inter alia, a robust security and intelligence grid is in place in Jammu and Kashmir to thwart any attempt at the hands of terrorists.

The ministry further said that the Center had a policy of “zero tolerance” against terrorism and that the security situation in the UT had improved significantly. “There has been a substantial decline in terrorist attacks – from 417 in 2018 to 229 in 2021. From January to November 30, 2022, 14 people belonging to minorities, including three Kashmiri Pandits, have been killed in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Security concerns of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti have been highlighted in some media reports.

The ministry told parliament in a separate reply that the number of terrorist incidents has reached 123, in which 31 soldiers and 31 civilians have been killed. “180 terrorists have been killed in encounters with security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir in 2022 (up to November),” the home ministry said.

Home Ministry threatened journalists

In a separate reply, the ministry said that according to reports, eight journalists working for a local newspaper based in Srinagar had received threats through the terrorist blog ‘Kashmir Fight’. Four media persons have reportedly resigned, and they were related to the media house ‘Rising Kashmir’. A case has been registered in this regard at Shergadi police station in Srinagar.

Government has taken several steps to protect lives of people including media persons from terrorist threats/attacks. These include proactive security arrangements where the security grid comprising Police, Army, CAPFs and intelligence agencies are deployed across Jammu and Kashmir to thwart any threat/attempt at the hands of terrorists or their handlers. Active operations to search and arrest/eliminate terrorists and drive them away. Proactive steps where police/other security agencies are providing appropriate level of security to protect the lives of media persons,” the ministry said.

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