Highlights

  • Police use batons and tear gas on protesters in J&K
  • Kashmiri Pandits were protesting against killing of Rahul Bhat
  • Bhat, a govt employee, was shot dead in Budgam on Thursday

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'Don't make us cannon fodder': protesting Kashmiri Pandits teargassed after Rahul Bhat's killing

Rahul Bhat, a govt employee, was shot dead by terrorists at a crowded government office in the Chadoora area of Budgam on Thursday.

Protests are taking place in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir after Rahul Bhat, a govt employee belonging to the Kashmiri Pandit community was shot dead by militants inside his office in Budgam on Thursday.

In Srinagar, the police used batons and tear gas to disperse the protesters who were trying to march to the city airport from Budgam, according to news agency PTI.

There were several pockets of protests in Budgam as well with members of the Kashmiri Pandit community demanding justice. They also demanded a meeting with the union territory's Lieutenant Govenor Manoj Sinha.

The Kashmiri Pandit Employees Association also protested in Anantnag.

Bhat (35), a Kashmiri Pandit employee, was shot dead by terrorists at a crowded government office in the Chadoora area of Budgam on Thursday.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, meanwhile, claimed that she has been placed under house arrest to stop her from visiting Budgam to express solidarity with the protesting Kashmiri Pandits.

In a tweet, Mufti said she was put under house arrest as the BJP did not want Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits to empathise with each other's pain.

"Wanted to visit Budgam to express my solidarity with Kashmiri Pandits protesting against GOIs failure to protect them. Have been put under house arrest as the fact that Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits empathise with each other’s pain doesn’t fit into their vicious communal narrative," the PDP chief said.

Police officials, however, refused to comment over Mufti’s claim.

National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abddullah said it was “shameful that legitimate and justified protests” are met with a “heavy-handed response”.

“This is not new for the people of Kashmir because when all the administration has is a hammer every problem resembles a nail. If the LG’s Govt can’t protect KPs they have a right to protest,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Tourism is not normalcy, it’s a barometer of economic activity. Normalcy is the absence of fear, the absence of terror, the inability of militants to strike at will, the presence of democratic rule & by any yardstick you choose to use, Kashmir is far from normal today,” Abdullah said.

Also watch: Govt employee from minority community shot dead in his office in J-K's Budgam

The NC leader, while condemning the killing of a policeman in Pulwama on Friday, said targeted killings continue “unabated” in the valley.

“Rahul in his office yesterday, Riyaz Ahmad Thoker, a SPO with J&K police, in his own home today. Targeted killings continue unabated. I can’t condemn this killing strongly enough. May Allah grant Riyaz place in Jannat,”

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