New Delhi: The Anantnag district social welfare officer Tuesday allegedly directed 26 Kashmiri Pandit employees who have fled the Valley following a spate of civilian killings in Kashmir, to resume their duties within two days.
Calling their absence “unauthorised”, the officer is believed to have asked them to explain their position, failing which action shall be taken against them. The order in question was shared by journalist Rahul Pandita on Twitter.
Less than 24 hours after a Kashmiri Pandit was almost killed by terrorists, the government terms absence of 26 Pandit government employees (who had left after killings began) as unauthorised and asks them to join immediately. Is this fair? @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @OfficeOfLGJandK pic.twitter.com/iVORkyIKnt
— Rahul Pandita (@rahulpandita) November 10, 2021
Dated 9 November, the order shared by Pandita lists the names of each of the 26 individuals, saying their “unauthorised absence has hampered the office work both at district as well as subordinate offices”, and the “common people are badly suffering” as a consequence.
It added that the employees “didn’t bother to resume your duties and you failed to return to your duties” despite the office’s attempts to contact them telephonically and by other media.
Attacks on Pandits
The order came a day after a Kashmiri Pandit grocery shop owner, Sandeep Mawa, was allegedly targeted by suspected militants in Srinagar, The Indian Express reported. Mawa was alerted by local police about the possible attack and was advised to leave his shop. Militants then allegedly killed Mawa’s salesman Mohammad Ibrahim Khan in what appears to be a case of mistaken identity.
A large number of Pandits have fled their homes following the targeted killings of two Pandits and multiple other civilians last month. The victims include a chemist, migrant workers from UP and Bihar, and a cab driver.
Sanjay Tickoo, president of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti, has described the killings of the Pandits as the “return of 1990”, the year when thousands of Pandits fled the Valley under the threat of violence. In an interview with ThePrint last month, Tickoo said around 75 Kashmiri Pandit families have temporarily moved out of Kashmir to safer locations like Jammu and other parts of the country.
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)