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Rahul Bhat's Family Saddened By Attack On Kashmiri Pandits; Appeals Govt For Protection

Saddened by the terrorist attack on two Kashmiri Pandits in J&K's Shopian, the family of Rahul Bhat demanded protection from the administration

Image: Republic

Saddened by the terrorist attack on two Kashmiri Pandits in Shopian, the family of Rahul Bhat, a Hindu migrant who was also killed by terrorists in May, demanded protection from the administration. Sunil Kumar and Pintoo Kumar, Kashmiri Hindu brothers hailing from Chotipora village were shot at by terrorists in Shopian on Tuesday. Sunil, who suffered two bullet wounds, succumbed to his injuries while Pintoo Kumar's condition remains critical.

Reacting to the targeted attack which comes amid Independence Day celebrations in the Valley, Rahul Bhat's father said, "At least 2-3 such incidents have taken place since last evening. There has been increase in violence in recent months. I don't think this has an end. I request the government to either provide us protection or move us to a safer place."

Speaking to Republic, Rahul Bhat's wife said the migrants and Hindus in Kashmir are living in constant fear. She said the attacks were a result of Pakistan's desperation after the Independence day celebrations in J&K. 

"Pakistan is clearly desperate by the tricolour wave in Kashmir. They will not stop. The threat prevails. We don't feel safe here. Just yesterday, they issued threats. The government has to listen to us now," he said. 

Rahul Bhat, who worked as a clerk under the special employment package for migrants in Kashmir, was shot dead by terrorists inside the Tehsil office in Chadoora town in Budgam district on May 12.

Kashmiri Pandits shot at in Kashmir

Three months after the brutal killing, the Indian Army eliminated three Lakshar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, including the one involved in Rahul Bhat's killing, in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district. Reacting to the development, Bhat's family said that the killing of terrorists has brought relief to them. 

However, on August 16, the Kashmir Police informed that terrorists fired upon civilians, both belonging to the minority community, in an apple orchard in the Chotipora area of Shopian.

Terrorist attacks had escalated on non-local labourers earlier this year but there was a break in such targeted killings for the last nearly two months. Earlier on August 4, a migrant labourer was killed and two others were injured in a grenade attack in the Gadoora area of Pulwama district. Prior to this, a similar attack was reported on June 3 when a migrant labourer was killed and another was injured after terrorists shot at them in Budgam district. 

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