Kashmiri Pandits shown dreams of 'ghar vapasi' but …: Uddhav Thackeray on targeted killings
Mumbai, Jun 04: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday expressed concern about the "targeted killings of Hindus and Kashmiri Pandits" in the Kashmir Valley.
Kashmiri Pandits were fleeing the Valley, Thackeray, who also heads the Shiv Sena, said in a statement here.
"Kashmiri Pandits were shown the dream of 'ghar vapasi' (resettlement in the Valley), but they are being targeted and killed. The exodus of Pandits is shocking," he said.
The chief minister assured the Pandit community that "Maharashtra is firmly behind them."
In 1995, when the Shiv Sena-BJP coalition came to power in Maharashtra, Sena founder Bal Thackeray ensured a quota in educational institutes in the state for the children of Kashmiri Pandits, he noted.
"Our government is in touch with Kashmiri Pandit leaders and will do everything it can for their protection," Thackeray further said.
Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing a worrisome trend in which there have been targeted killings.
Terrorists shot dead a bank employee from Rajasthan in Kashmir's Kulgam district on Thursday, the eighth targeted killing in the Valley since May 1 and the third of a non-Muslim government employee.
On May 7 an unarmed police constable Ghulan Hassan Dar was killed in Srinagar's Zonimar area.
On May 12, Rahul Bhat, a clerk, was shot dead at the tehsildar's office in Chadoora tehsil of Budgam district.
On May 13 special police officer Riyaz Ahmed Thoker was shot dead in Pulwama.
On May 17, Ranjit Singh from Rajouri was killed and three others injured after terrorists lobbed a hand grenade inside a newly opened wine store in Baramulla.
On May 24, terrorists killed a policeman Saifullah Qadri I the Anchor Soura area of Srinagar and also wounded his daughter.
On May 25, TV artiste Amreen Bhat was shot outside her house in Chadoora areas of ventral Kashmir's Budgam.
On May 31, Rajni Bala, a Hindu woman teacher from Samba district, was shot dead by terrorists at a government school in Gopalpora, Kulgam.