(Caption for photo at top of the post: “Indian paramilitary soldiers patrol in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir. Kashmiri Pandits have been demanding more security in light of the violence. Photograph: Mukhtar Khan/AP”.)
1) Further to this November 2021 post,
those perils still remain–from the Guardian:
Increase in violence prompts protests and biggest exodus of Kashmiri Pandit families for two decades
Hundreds of minority Hindus have fled from Indian-administered Kashmir, and many more are preparing to leave, after a fresh spate of targeted killings stoked tensions in the disputed Himalayan region.
Three Hindus have been killed by militants in Kashmir this week alone, including a teacher and migrant workers, prompting mass protests and the largest exodus of Hindu families from the Muslim-majority region in two decades.
Sanjay Tickoo, a Kashmiri Pandit activist, said: “Some 3,500 people have left and more will be leaving in coming days.”
Many Hindu families said they were waiting to get discharge certificates for their children from schools and then would leave as soon as possible. “Fear is increasing with each new killing,” said Tickoo. “The minorities are facing the worst situation in Kashmir.”..
At least 19 civilians have been killed this year in similar targeted attacks in the region, including minority Hindus, government employees and a woman who was known for her Instagram videos.
Police have blamed Pakistan-backed militant groups for the killings…
After the string of attacks, Hindus say they being driven out of the region. These include Kashmiri Hindus, commonly referred to as Pandits, 65,000 of whom first fled from the valley in a mass exodus in the 1990s, when a violent pro-Pakistan insurgency broke out in the region and they began to be targeted [see this post: ‘PM Modi Likes Bollywood Blockbuster “The Kashmir Files”‘].
By 2010, a few thousand Kashmiri Hindus had returned to the Muslim-majority region, enticed by a government rehabilitation policy that provided jobs and guarded accommodation to about 4,000 people. But in recent weeks, those who returned have been protesting against the killings and demanding more security. Hindu employees have been abstaining from their duties, urging the government to relocate them to safer locations.
“We are in a 1990s-like situation,” said Pyarai Lal, 65, who lives in Sheikhpora Budgam, in one of the seven guarded housing facilities provided to Hindus. “My son is a teacher and he has not attended his duty for the last two weeks. We are afraid to even leave our home. Who knows when a gunman will attack?”..
Authorities have promised the employees they will be posted to safer locations, and police made assurances they were increasing security by intensifying counter-insurgency operations, surveillance and using drones.
But many Kashmiri Pandits have accused authorities of barring them from leaving and allege that police and paramilitary forces have been deployed at the gates of their government provided accommodations to stop them…
The targeted attacks against Hindus pose a great political challenge to prime minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) government, which has made repeated promises to look after the interests of Kashmiri Pandits. On Friday, India’s home minister, Amit Shah, held a high-level review meeting on the security situation in the region, but no government statement has been made on the issue.
In 2019, Modi unilaterally revoked Kashmir’s autonomy, and enforced a military crackdown under the guise of greater security for Kashmir. The government introduced a slew of laws allowing non-locals to buy property in the region, in the hope of enticing Hindus to settle in the state, a move many locals feared was Delhi’s attempt to bring about demographic changes in the Muslim-majority region.
Many see the removal of Kashmir’s autonomy in 2019, as well as Hindu nationalist policies of the Modi government, which have driven an increase in attacks against Muslims in India, as a driving force behind the growing surge of violence in Kashmir…
2) Further to this post,
now a couple of BJP people have at Muslims–from Deutshe Welle:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party has come under fire for incendiary comments about the Prophet Muhammad. Muslim countries have lodged protests amid calls for a boycott of Indian goods.
A row over remarks by India’s ruling party officials grew on Monday [June 6] as several Muslim-majority countries summoned Indian diplomats.
The comments by the now-suspended members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) triggered wide criticism from Arab and Muslim-majority countries, which say the comments were offensive and “Islamophobic.”
What triggered the row?
Last week, BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma commented on Prophet Muhammad’s youngest wife during a televised debate, specifically about how old she was believed to be when they married.
Her remarks were blamed for clashes in an Indian state and prompted demands for her arrest.
The BJP on Sunday said it had suspended [her], and denounced “insult of any religious personalities of any religion.”
Sharma took to Twitter to retract her statement, saying that the comments were made in response to “insults” made against the Hindu god Shiva.
The BJP also expelled spokesman Naveen Kumar Jindal over comments made about Islam on social media. Jindal said he questioned some comments made against Hindu gods on Twitter: “I only questioned them but that does not mean I am against any religion.”
How did Muslim countries react?
The Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) said the remarks came in a “context of intensifying hatred and abuse toward Islam in India and systematic practices against Muslims.”
Resisting such allegations, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India “categorically rejects OIC Secretariat’s unwarranted and narrow-minded comments. The government of India accords the highest respect to all religions.”..
With calls for the boycott of Indian-made goods spreading across several Muslim countries, the BJP-helmed government has been propelled into action over 10 days after the comments were first made.
Religious tensions have escalated in India in recent months, with critics saying they are prompted by Indian television anchors during raucous debates [see this post: “Hindutva on the March in India–any Real Crackdown?“]…
Plus a tweet by a retired Indian army brigadier:
One thing after another for intercommunal relations.