Kashmiri Pandit employees stage protest, block Tawi Bridge

Seek temporary relocation to Jammu
The protesters were angry over the continuous targetted killings in Kashmir and alleged that they were not provided with a secure environment to work in the government offices.
The protesters were angry over the continuous targetted killings in Kashmir and alleged that they were not provided with a secure environment to work in the government offices. Mir Imran/ GK

Jammu: Protesting Kashmiri Pandits (KP) employed under the Prime Minister’s Package on Wednesday blocked the busy Tawi bridge against the targeted killing of Sunil Kumar Bhat in Shopian and demanded their relocation to Jammu till the situation improved in Kashmir.

Carrying placards in their hands, earlier the protesters held a sit-in at Dogra Chowk and then they marched towards the Tawi Bridge and blocked it for some time raising slogans in support of their demand for relocation.

The protesters were angry over the continuous targetted killings in Kashmir and alleged that they were not provided with a secure environment to work in the government offices.

“Therefore, we are demanding relocation to Jammu till the security situation improves,” one of the protesting PM package employees told Greater Kashmir.

While questioning the senseless killings of the minority community people by the terrorists, the protesting employees sought the attention of the government towards the situation, which they alleged, was “not conducive for the working of PM package employees.”

“We have also informed the government that we will return to our jobs in Kashmir till the situation improves there. At present, we are not willing to work there. There is no security. The KP employees are in deep stress due to continuous killings,” said one of the protesters.

“We have been protesting for the last 92 days in Jammu after the killing of Rahul Bhat and demanding our relocation to Jammu. Today we started our march from the Relief Commissioner’s office at Canal Road and then blocked the Tawi bridge,” Naveen Pandita, a PM Package employee told Greater Kashmir.

He said, “The killings are being carried out in a planned manner. They are targetting every section of society. We cannot live there in this situation. While working in Kashmir, our life will always be at stake. Hence, we have to choose an option to get killed in Kashmir after joining our jobs or to resign (from the job).”

“The government had assured to hand over flats to 6000 PM package employees. However, a majority of them (PM package employees) have been staying there in rented accommodations. They have become easy targets while the KP employees, living in colonies, still have security,” he said.

Another employee said, “The government should allow us to work from Jammu and complete the construction of 2 BHK quarters in Kashmir for the accommodation of PM Package employees without further delay.”

“The government should allot vacant Estates quarters in Srinagar to the KP PM Package employees and their families as they are feeling insecure in private accommodations,” the protesters said.

They said that the PM Package employees should not be forced to join their duties in Kashmir. “We are being harassed for one reason or other by the concerned officials who are forcing us to join duties or to face action,” they alleged.

Later, the protesters dispersed peacefully following the intervention of the Police. They lifted the blockade and allowed the movement of traffic on the Tawi Bridge.

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