J&K businessman’s killing sows fear among Pandits

Express News Service

SRINAGAR:  The killing of prominent Kashmiri Pandit businessman and owner of Bindroo Chemist, Makhan Lal Bindroo, by militants in a highly secured area of Srinagar has sowed fear among the Pandits who chose to live in the Valley without migrating elsewhere. Sanjay Tickoo, president of a non-migrant Pandit group — Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS) — said the incident has spread fear among the Sikhs in the Valley.

Makhan Lal Bindroo, 68, was shot dead by militants at his shop at Iqbal Park area of uptown Srinagar. Bindroo was among the Pandits who did not migrate from the Valley after the eruption of militancy in J&K in 1990. He operated his pharmacy  even during the peak of militancy. Tickoo said it was after 18 years that a non-migrant Pandit had been killed by the militants.

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“The last time a non-migrant Pandit was killed was in March 2003, when 24 were gunned down in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district,” he said. Tickoo said a few hours after Bindroo’s killing, he wrote a letter to Lt Governor Manoj Sinha about the threat to the lives of prominent faces of non-migrant Pandits living in the Valley. “I again wrote to him on October 6. But there has been no response till now.”

Tickoo claimed that for over a year, he had been trying to get an appointment with Lt Governor Sinha but to no avail.  “Bindroo’s killing took place at a highly secured area in Srinagar. If a person is not safe in the highly secured zone of Srinagar, how come a person is safe in villages and far off places in other districts of the Valley,” Tickoo added.

Most non-migrants staying in south KashmirAbout 800 Kashmiri Pandit families comprising 3,400 persons are living in different parts of the Valley. A majority of them are staying in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag districts

INDIA FLAYS PAK CHARGESNew Delhi: Responding to Pakistan’s accusations of India committing atrocities in Kashmir, New Delhi has slammed its neighbour for repeating “litany of lies” at the UN, saying the country should stop cleansing its own minorities.  Counsellor and legal advisor at India’s Permanent Mission to the UN, Kajal Bhat said Kashmir would always be a part of India. “Pakistan is the biggest perpetrator and supporter of terrorism masquerading as a victim,” she said.