National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Thursday appealed to members of minority communities in Kashmir not to leave the valley, saying that the perpetrators of the recent civilian killings can’t be allowed to succeed in their “evil designs”.
Taking to Twitter hours after a woman principal and a teacher belonging to minority communities were shot dead by militants in Srinagar, Abdullah said terror can’t be allowed to dictate who will live in Kashmir and who won’t.
“On my part, I am making a heartfelt appeal to all those who will be thinking of leaving the valley out of fear. Please don’t. We can’t let the perpetrators of these terror attacks succeed in their evil designs by driving you out. The overwhelmingly majority of us don’t want you to go,” Abdullah tweeted.
He said the targeted attacks in Kashmir are designed to create fissures and widen the gap between communities.
“We cannot let terror dictate who lives here & who doesn’t. It is imperative that all of us belonging to the majority community reach out to those who today fear for their lives,” he added.
Abdullah further said, “The primary responsibility for security is & will always be the duty of the administration of the day. It can’t be shifted to individuals & political parties to suit political convenience and misplaced loyalties. That said we all have the responsibility to do what we can to help.”
Supinder Kaur, the principal of the Government Boys’ Higher Secondary School in Eidgah in downtown Srinagar, and Deepak Chand, were gunned down at point-blank range by militants around 11.15 am just when the school had settled down to another day of online classes. There were no students in the school.
Kaur was a Srinagar-based Sikh and Chand was a Hindu from Jammu.
Abdullah said that the majority of civilian deaths in Kashmir have been those of Muslims but that does not absolve the community of the responsibility to make the minorities feel safe.
“Yes it’s true that the majority of civilian deaths in Kashmir have been Muslim but that doesn’t absolve us of our responsibility to do everything in our power to help those who belong to religious minorities feel secure,” he said.
Militants have killed four people from minority communities in Kashmir in the past three days.
Besides Kaur and Chand, a prominent Kashmiri Pandit who owned Srinagar’s most famous pharmacy and a roadside vendor were among those killed.