Thirty-one years ago, on this day, first Hindu killing of Pandit Tika Lal Taploo by Islamists happened in Kashmir. This would be followed by killings of many Hindus which resulted in ethnic cleansing of the entire Hindu community from Kashmir. Never forget.
The Hindus of Kashmir were targeted for their immense faith in their gods and their unshakeable loyalty to India. The 'soldiers' of Islam viewed them as impediment to the goal of 'Azadi'. Hence the brutal killings and rapes of their womenfolk in the name of Islam.
Islamists targeted noted Pandits to spread fear quickly among the community. The subsequent killings would be of Justice Nilakanth Ganjoo, Kashmiri poet and writer Sarwanand Koul 'Premi', Advocate Prem Nath Bhat, Lassa Koul (Director, Doordarshan Kendra - Srinagar).
The Pandit killings would be carried out, in most cases, through support of friends and acquaintances. The same people who were/are supposedly good neighbours of Kashmiri Pandits. The killings didn’t stop until most of the Kashmir was cleansed of Hindus.
Among many murders and massacres of Hindus in Kashmir, I can't forget the grisly gang-rape of young Sarla Bhat and then her murder by JKLF terrorists, and horrific gang-rape of Girija Tickoo and then cutting her into pieces by mechanical saw. All in the name of Islam and Azadi.
The Pandit killings were done for "Hum kya chahte - Azadi" in Kashmir. The reason behind the killings by Islamists was "Azadi ka matlab kya - La ilaha illa Allah”. Nothing political in what happened to Hindus in Kashmir or what happens even now; it is fundamentally religious.
While the socio-political dynamics in J&K have changed after the invalidation of Article 370, and corrective measures taken thereafter by the Government of India, Kashmir's Hindu community still awaits justice for the crimes committed against them.

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More from @VaradSharma

16 Apr 19
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