Days after their loved ones are killed by terrorists, two grieving families in Jammu and Kashmir have only one demand – justice.
“By killing my wife, they killed a mother and daughter and destroyed my entire family,” Raj Kumar, the husband of Guru Rajni Bala who was killed in Kashmir, said looking at his daughter with teary eyes, speechless.
Bala, 36, was shot dead by terrorists on May 31 outside her school in Gopalpura district of Kulgam district after being shot down by her husband.
Roughly 60 kilometers from Pala’s home, the family of Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhatt is still searching for answers. Bhatt, a government employee of Kashmir Pandit, was shot dead by terrorists inside a collection office in Chadura town of Budgam district on May 13. He had secured the job as an employee under the Special Immigrant Employment Package. He was residing in the immigrant colony in Shekhpura district of Budjam district.
His father, Petaji Bhatt, feels that a well-informed person helped the terrorists kill Bhatt, as it was a well-protected area.
Transfer request, threatened
For Kumar, Kashmir was his favorite place, but now neither he nor anyone from his family wants to go back. He sought the transfer and asked the Deputy Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, to consider his few demands.
“Kashmir is a completely different place for us now. Rajni Bala and I moved to Kashmir in 2009. We saw protests and confrontations, in fact, we used to pass by protesters, but we had no fear of getting hurt. There was a time when people used to guide us. in different ways to reach the school, so that we can save a few minutes and arrive in time,” Kumar told News18.
Kumar is upset with the government because Pala was trying to get a transfer, but district officials told both that they could be moved inland if they kept asking for a transfer outside of Kashmir. He claimed that Jammu and Kashmir government officials did not care about the tense situation and turned them away.
We went to Kashmir in 2009, when both of us got government school jobs. Until 2017, we were receiving flyers in the same schools. But then we were transferred to different schools. Recently, after hearing about the killings, we went to meet with the chief education officer, asking for a transfer to a safer place, but the officer took no action. We went to meet the officer again a week later, and instead of considering our application, we received a threat that we could be thrown into the depths of the area,” said Kumar.
“We came back, but Rajni kept telling me that something might happen to her one day. She had a fear that was bothering her. I felt uneasy about her commute from home to school.
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Kumar further said that nothing concrete was done about the demands he made to LG during his visit. He is still waiting for his transfer and even then he has decided not to go to Kashmir.
Kumar said J&K should have an elected government so that grievances can be heard in a timely manner and appropriate measures can be taken without any delay to prevent such incidents in the future.
“Officers who failed to understand our situation and were lenient towards our requests were not punished even after Rajni’s death. J&K deserves a stable and elected government and elections should be held as soon as possible,” Kumar said.
We have no demands, we only want justice, pressure on militancy and talks.
On the other hand, Petaji Bhatt is still trying to piece together the day his son was murdered.
It’s been a month now, but we’re waiting for justice. It was a well-protected collection desk. Two judges were sitting there and about 25 people were inside the office when Rahul was attacked. It is not possible that the terrorist killed Rahul indiscriminately. There is obvious involvement of an insider, only someone from his office was aware that it was a Kashmir Pandit. We have no other demand, we want justice – to punish everyone who killed and helped him.”
Read also | Kashmiri Pandit was shot dead by terrorists in his office in J&K’s Budgam; Interrogation of the demands of the victim’s family
When asked about the situation in Kashmir, he said, “It’s bad. I don’t want anyone to face what we are facing. There are about three to four people like us and 5,000 children in Kashmir. It is important that the government curbs militancy in the valley. They are openly attacking the community.” Pressing hardening and talks is the only solution. The tailgate channel must also be running simultaneously.”
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