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Kashmiri Hindus protest killing of minority neighborhood member

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Hindus in Indian-controlled Kashmir staged protests on Friday, a day after assailants shot and killed a authorities worker from the minority neighborhood.

Police blamed anti-India rebels for the killing of Rahul Bhat inside an workplace advanced in Chadoora city on Thursday.

Scores of the area’s minority Hindus, domestically generally known as Pandits, took to the streets in not less than three locations and blocked roads to demand that Bhat’s killers be delivered to justice. They chanted slogans in opposition to the federal government and India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Get together, blaming them for inaction.

It was the primary time that Pandits, an estimated 200,000 of whom fled Kashmir after an anti-India insurrection erupted in 1989, concurrently organized road protests at a number of locations within the Muslim-majority area.

Dozens scuffled with authorities forces in not less than one location. Police used tear gasoline and batons within the Budgam space, the place Bhat lived in a protected rehabilitation settlement, to cease protesters from marching to a close-by airport street.

Bhat was a clerk at a income workplace in Chadoora and was among the many first batch of practically 4,000 Hindu staff who had returned to the area after 2010 as a part of a authorities resettlement plan that supplied them with jobs and housing.

Police mentioned two militants entered Bhat’s workplace and fired at him. He was taken to a hospital the place he died.

Final yr suspected rebels killed a number of members of minority Hindu and Sikh communities, together with employees from Indian states, in a wave of targeted shootings in the region.

Kashmir is dived between India and Pakistan and each declare it in its entirety. Most Muslim Kashmiris within the Indian-controlled portion assist the insurgent objective of uniting the territory, both beneath Pakistani rule or as an impartial nation.

When Kashmir became a battleground within the Nineteen Nineties, assaults and threats by militants led to the departure of most Kashmiri Hindus, who recognized with India’s rule with many believing that the insurrection was additionally aimed toward wiping them out.

Many of the area’s Muslims, lengthy resentful of Indian rule, deny that Hindus had been systematically focused, and say India helped them transfer out with a purpose to solid Kashmir’s battle as Islamic extremism.

These tensions had been renewed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi got here to energy in 2014, and the Indian authorities pursued a plan to house returning migrant Kashmiri Hindus in new townships.

Muslim leaders described such plans as a conspiracy to create communal division by separating the inhabitants alongside spiritual strains, notably after India stripped the region’s semi-autonomy in 2019 and removed inherited protections on land and jobs amid a monthslong lockdown and communication blockade.

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