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

The ministry of home affairs on Wednesday told parliament that the central government had taken a number of steps to protect minorities in Jammu and Kashmir. The ministry listed out steps in a written reply and said 14 persons belonging to minorities, including three Kashmiri Pandits, had been killed in the union territory between January and November 30.

“Various measures have been taken by the government to protect the lives of minorities, which include 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 appropriate deployment. 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 MHA said in a reply.

The ministry further said the Centre had a policy of “zero tolerance” against terrorism and the security situation had significantly improved in the UT. “There has been a substantial decline in terrorist attacks – from 417 in 2018 to 229 in 2021. 14 persons belonging to minorities including three Kashmiri Pandits have been killed in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir from January to November 30, 2022. There were certain media reports of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti highlighting security concerns,” it said.

The ministry, in a separate reply, told parliament that the number of terrorist incidents had reached 123, in which 31 soldiers and 31 civilians had been killed. “180 terrorists have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir in encounter with security personnel in 2022 (till November),” the MHA added.

MHA on threat to journalists

In another separate reply, the ministry said as reported, eight journalists working for a Srinagar-based local newspapers had received threats via the terror blog ‘Kashmir Fight’. Four mediapersons have reportedly resigned, and they belonged to the media house ‘Rising Kashmir’. In this regard, a case has been registered at Shergari police station in Srinagar.

“The government has taken several steps to protect the lives of people, including mediapersons from terrorist threats/attacks. These include proactive security arrangements where security grid includes police, army, CAPF and intelligence agencies, who are deployed across Jammu and Kashmir to thwart any threat/attempt at the hands of terrorists or their handlers. Proactive operations to seek and arrest/neutralise terrorists and put them on the run. Proactive steps where police/other security agencies are providing a reasonable level of security to protect the lives of mediapersons,” the ministry said.

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