Innocent people are dying and the government should re-assess its policies rather than insist everything is “hunky dory”, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah told NDTV Thursday, hours after the principal and teacher at a government school were shot dead in Srinagar.
The killings are the latest in a series of targeted murders in the Kashmir valley, and a furious Mr Abdullah asked “are we going back to the 1990s (when terrorist activities in Kashmir were at a peak)”?
“Teachers are being killed, local residents are being killed… Such things have not happened since the 1990s. There is no doubt it (terrorism) is escalating… this is worrisome for us all. The centre must see why this is happening… is there any policy leading to this?” Mr Abdullah told NDTV.
“When they say (Article) 370 is removed and everything is hunky-dory… Is this hunky-dory? I want to ask Home Minister (Amit Shah). I have friends in the minority communities and they are scared… political leaders are scared they will be the next target. For god’s sake, India must wake up,” he said.
Mr Abdullah, who was detained under the stringent PSA (Public Safety Act) for an extended period after the government scrapped Article 370 in August 2019, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Kashmir and offer personal reassurances of safety to the residents.
“Ask yourself – is terrorism in Kashmir coming down or going up? They (the centre) are telling us something (but) the reality is something totally different. People are worried here, people are scared… Pray. India must pray. Let us hope we don’t see a rise in such incidents,” he told NDTV.
Mr Abdullah also questioned the centre’s intentions towards Kashmir, declaring that despite promises that political leaders still in detention would be released, “none of that has happened”.
As many as five civilians have been killed over the past three days, including Makhan Lal Bindroo, 70, a prominent chemist in Srinagar. Mr Bindroo was shot inside his store, from point-blank range, around 7 pm on Tuesday. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
The two others killed on Tuesday were Virender Paswan, a street food vendor in downtown Srinagar who hailed from Bihar, and Mohammad Shafi, the president of a taxi stand in Bandipora.
Today Supunder Kour, a Sikh, and Deepak Chand, a Hindu, were killed.
J&K police chief Dilbag Singh told NDTV a terror outfit identified as “The Resistance Front” (TRF) was behind today’s killings. “TRF is run from Karachi. We will soon expose this nexus…” he said.