Slain Pandit’s Family Inconsolable, Killing Condemned

SRINAGAR: Rahul Bhat, the revenue clerk who was killed in a militant attack in Chadoora is survived by aged parents, a minor daughter and a young widow, people who knew the slain man said.

Rahul Bhat

Bhat was attacked in his chamber at Tehsil office Chadoora in the afternoon on Thursday. He was shifted quickly to Srinagar’s SMHS where he succumbed to his injuries.

Rahul lived in Sheikhpora, Budgam where the government has set up a housing colony for the minority community.

Basically Hailing from Sangrampora village in Budgam, residents at Sheikhpora said his father is a retired policeman and his wife a homemaker. He was appointed to the revenue department in 2010, under the Prime Minister’s special package for the migrant Kashmiri Pandit community.

“For most of the years, he was posted in Budgam and for almost two years he was in Chadoora,” one resident in Sheikhpora said.

Bhat’s wife is also a housewife. She is from South Kashmir. His parents had migrated from Sangrampora and they returned only after Bhat was appointed by the government.

Reports said the authorities gave the corpse of the slain official to the family and it was kept in the local tempe. The family is yet to decide about the last rites. They were indecisive about whether they will perform his last rites in Jammu or at Sheikhpora.

The killing triggered protests in Sheikhpora and Vessue in South Kashmir with the resident pandits seeking justice. They were shouting slogans against the ruling party as well.

Condemnation of the killing poured in from diverse sections of the society, mostly the political class.

National Conference (NC) President and Member of Parliament, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, said, “I unequivocally condemn the dastardly attack on Rahul Bhatt. The sole purpose of such dastardly and heinous acts is to vitiate the atmosphere of Kashmir. I condemn the killing in the strongest possible terms. My heartfelt condolences to Rahul’s family,” he said.

National Conference (NC) Vice President and former chief minister, Omar Abdullah said that targeted killings continue and a sense of fear grows unchecked.

“I unequivocally condemn the murderous militant attack on Rahul Bhatt. Rahul was a government employee working in the Tehsil office in Chadoora where he was attacked. Targeted killings continue & a sense of fear grows unchecked. My heartfelt condolences to Rahul’s family. RIP,” Omar tweeted.

“This young man had his entire life ahead of him & to know that his life was so cruelly extinguished today is tragic. Rest in peace Rahul Bhatt,” Omar said.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti said that the killing belies the false claims of normalcy in Kashmir.

“Condemn the gruesome act  where in a kashmiri Pandit  boy  Rahul Bhat was murdered in chadoora. Another life ended and another family devastated. My heart goes out to the bereaved family in this hour of grief. It also belies the false claims of normalcy in kashmir,” Mehbooba tweeted.

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) condemned the killing of a Revenue employee, terming the act as ‘heinous and mindless’.

JKPCC has strongly condemned the killing of Revenue Employee Rahul Bhat in Tehsil Office Chadoora by unidentified gunmen, terming the incident ghastly, highly condemnable and mindless act.

The perpetrators of the heinous crime must know that they cannot achieve anything by killing innocent people to satisfy their masters. Killings in any form are unacceptable, shameful and deserve strong condemnation from every section of people, JKPCC added.

JKPCC President Ghulam Ahmad Mir and various other party leaders have expressed deep shock over the killing of Rahul Bhat by unidentified gunmen and conveyed heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.

They said the security situation has worsened to the largest extent in Kashmir while slamming the Govt for failing to ensure safety of people especially members of the minority community. The leaders emphasized that the Govt must take effective measures to end the bloodshed.

JKPCC expressed solidarity with the family of slain Rahul Bhat and prayed for their courage to bear the irreparable loss.

CPI (M) leader Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami condemned  the killing of Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat in Chadoora area of Budgam and termed the incident as unfortunate ,tragic and said such barbaric incidents have no place in a civilised society.

“Such brutal killings are harmful for the society and can’t be justified under any circumstances,” he added.

While expressing condolence to the bereaved family, he demanded an immediate end to the killings.

Peoples Conference (PC) Chairman and former minister, Sajad Gani Lone in a tweet condemned the killing of employee.

“Strongly condemn the killing of Rahul. It is difficult to read the minds of these psychopaths who indulge in such killings.  Yet another family is added to the list of victims of violence.  May the departed soul rest in peace,” Lone tweeted.

Apni Party President Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari has strongly condemned the attack on a Kashmiri Pandit, Rahul Bhatt a government employee working in Tehsil office Chadoora in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

While strongly condemning the attack, Bukhari said that it is very tragic to see this senseless bloodshed of innocents. Our fellow Kashmiris are suffering due to acts of violence and there seems to be no end to this madness, he remarked.

Such targeted killings of members of minority community is reprehensible and the people of Kashmir won’t accept this bloodshed.

While expressing sympathy with the family members, Bukhari said people who don’t want sustained peace and stability in the valley are the one’s behind such incidents.

Expressing greif over the incident, Bukhari said, “My heart goes out to the family members of the deceased”.

“No words would be ever enough to condemn the inhumane act. I hope that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to justice at an earliest,”  Bukhari also appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to maintain communal harmony and brotherhood and not fall prey to the nefarious designs of anti social elements.

Former Cabinet Minister and Apni Party Senior Vice President Ghulam Hassan Mir expressed dismay over the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit, Rahul Bhatt who was shot at by the unidentified gunmen at Tehsil office Chadoora in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Thursday afternoon.

“Killing of Rahul a Kashmiri Pandit employee at Chadoora is a most detestable act. I strongly condemn it. My wholehearted support and sympathies with the bereaved. RIP,” Mir wrote on Twitter.

In a statement to the press, Mir said that the incident aimed at disturbing the communal harmony in Jammu and Kashmir and till date conflict has claimed so many lives all across the region and this cycle of violence needs to stop at its earliest.

“I unequivocally condemn this attack while at the same time send my heartfelt sympathies to the family members of the deceased. I hope that the perpetrators of the crime are punished at the earliest,” he said.

Former Cabinet Minister and Apni Party Senior Vice President Ghulam Hassan Mir expressed dismay over the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit, Rahul Bhatt who was shot at by the unidentified gunmen at Tehsil office Chadoora in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Thursday afternoon.

Grieving family members of Rahul Bhat, the revenue clerk who was killed in a militant attack in Chadoora on May 12, 2022. Basically from Sangrampora, he was living in Sheikhpora Budgam. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

“Killing of Rahul a Kashmiri Pandit employee at Chadoora is a most detestable act. I strongly condemn it. My wholehearted support and sympathies with the bereaved. RIP,” Mir wrote on Twitter.

In a statement to the press, Mir said that the incident aimed at disturbing the communal harmony in Jammu and Kashmir and till date conflict has claimed so many lives all across the region and this cycle of violence needs to stop at its earliest.

“I unequivocally condemn this attack while at the same time send my heartfelt sympathies to the family members of the deceased. I hope that the perpetrators of the crime are punished at the earliest,” he said.

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