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The vast majority of local Muslims were tolerant and respectful of local Hindus, as they were seen as more educated and worldly-minded than their Muslim brethren. In 1984, when GM Shah, son-in-law of the late Sheikh Abdullah, became the Chief Minister, the exodus of local Pandits from the areas of South Kashmir began. The Shah personally considered the idea of Kashmirism less favorable than that of his ancestors or successors. The Government of India intervened in 1984 to stop the march of minority Pandits from the valley. The seeds of intolerance were sown. The shock of intolerance and the claims of Islam’s direct jacket concept emanated from South Kashmir and spread rapidly to other parts of the valley.
The first claim of religious intolerance was made when Qazi Nisar of Mir Wise, Anantnag, South Kashmir, announced during Friday prayers that Muslims should observe a weekly holiday on Friday instead of Sunday. He also spoke out against the government’s ban on cow slaughter and the sale of beef, saying that Muslims have a religious right to eat cows. When separatist violence was at its peak, Qazi Nisar was killed by militants in 1995 as a result of an internal battle for supremacy.
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The first group of local boys to receive training and bring weapons from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) included Hamid Sheikh, Ashfaq Majeed Wani, Javed Mir and Yasin Malik. He claimed allegiance to an independent, secular Kashmir and described himself as the leader of the JKLF. It is ironic that the butcher of Kashmiri Pandits was Bitta Karate, who himself admitted that he had killed more than two dozen Pandits. Bitta Karate was also a member of JKLF. The assassination of Judge Neelkanth Ganju, who sentenced local BJP leader Tika Lal Taplu and JKLF founder Maqbool Butt to death, is also believed to be part of a conspiracy hatched by the JKLF.
There was a hidden agenda of firing on behalf of the Kashmiri Pandits. When Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), the armed wing of the local Jamaat-e-Islami, stepped into the center, the killing of Kashmiri Pandits became an important part of the ‘jihad’ (holy war). HM issued a public statement, published prominently by local newspapers in 1990, stating that local pundits must leave the valley or face serious consequences. The militants claimed that every Kashmiri Pandit was an agent of the Indian intelligence agencies. In this way, it can be said that if you were not an intelligence agent, you would have been targeted by the RSS. Was to be killed as a worker.
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Claiming to have killed Tika Lal Taplu, Bitta Karate admitted that he was killed because Taplu was a member of the RSS. Local pundits working in the fields of police, banks, public distribution department, health, telecom, education, etc. were killed by the terrorists, regardless of their affiliation with any organization. Unarmed, innocent Pandits fell prey to the bullets of terrorists. The separatist rallies in January and February 1990 were originally aimed at driving the minority Hindus out of the valley. As much as the cry of separatism was against Hindus, it was also in favor of Kashmir for Pakistan. With the deterioration of the communal atmosphere, the Pandits had a clear choice, either to leave the valley or to perish. Of course there was another option: convert and join the majority, leave your religion for India.
Trucks, buses, taxis, private cars and even two-wheelers were used by local Hindus to ward off separatists, who were nothing more than soldiers of jihad against Kashmir. This is a clear indication that tolerance, coexistence, sympathy for fellow human beings and a common culture rooted in Kashmir’s glorious past, despite different religious beliefs, was a thing of the past. The anger of a particular community was quelled by the local Kashmiri Pandits. Threatening, killing, usurping their property had become a favorite pastime of terrorists. The government was watching the massacre helplessly.
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In fact, large-scale marches began in the early 1990’s, when gunmen-led marches called for the establishment of an Islamic state. The local Pandits had no place in it until they converted. This has been ignored by the government. As things got out of hand, the government imposed a curfew to facilitate the march of the Pandit community. When about 5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits fled, their homes were looted in most places, even bathroom fittings. The lands left behind were occupied by the same neighbors who claimed to take care of them until everything was fine and they returned.
This turned out to be a huge vested interest. At the grassroots level, government jobs were given to local Muslims. Businesses owned by the Pandits were taken over by the local Muslims and whether they intended to or not, the interests of the local Muslims and the Pandits were seen as mutually exclusive. Seeing the land situation and the complete collapse of state power, the local Hindus left Kashmir as a helpless, oppressed community, whose members have become refugees in their own country.