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Amit Shah briefed about concerns of Kashmiri Pandit employees after killing of Bhat: Ravinder Raina

JAMMU: With the BJP facing the ire of Kashmiri migrant employees serving in the valley after their colleague was killed by terrorists, the party's J&K unit chief Ravinder Raina on Saturday said he has briefed Union Home Minister Amit Shah about their "concerns and problems".

Raina said he had also spoken to Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and is again leading a party delegation to meet him at Srinagar on Sunday as "it is the responsibility of the government to provide a secure and safe environment to the nationalists, whether Muslims, Sikhs or Hindus who are upholding the tricolour".

The BJP leader along with his colleagues was heckled by the Kashmiri migrant pandit community at the cremation of Rahul Bhat here on Friday.

Bhat, who had got the job of a clerk under the special employment package for migrants in 2010-11, was gunned down by terrorists inside the tehsil office in Chadoora town of central Kashmir's Budgam district on Thursday.

Others who have got employment under the scheme are now holding protests, accusing the administration of failing to provide them adequate security and demanding that they be shifted to Jammu. They have also threatened to quit en-masse.

"I spoke to the home minister on Friday and briefed him about the concerns and problems being faced by the Kashmiri pandits serving in the valley under the Prime Minister's employment package," Raina told reporters here.

He said it is the responsibility of the government to provide a "safe and secure" environment and provide all facilities to the nationalists who are keeping the tricolour aloft in the valley, whether they are Muslims, Sikhs or Hindus.

The latest killing of Bhat and Special Police Officer (SPO) Riyaz Ahmad Thokar (on Friday) shows the barbaric face of terrorism which needs to end, the BJP leader said.

Regretting the lathi-charge on Kashmiri pandit protestors during their march towards Srinagar airport from Sheikhpora camp, Raina said he held a series of meetings with political, religious and social leaders from the community and "I am of the opinion that their concerns and problems are genuine".

"I raised the issue with the Lt Governor (on Friday) and am again heading a high-level BJP delegation to meet him at Raj Bhavan in Srinagar on Sunday. We will discuss all issues of minorities living in the valley besides Gujjars and Bakerwals and Pahari speaking people," he said.

He said the Kashmiri pandits are "grief-stricken and angry and we have to address all their genuine concerns and problems." Raina said there is also a dire need to talk to the Kashmiri pandits and no need for the use of force.

"It is our responsibility to meet their aspirations and make arrangements for their absolute security. It is our prime responsibility to ensure the security of every nationalist community and we will press with full force all the issues before the LG," he said.

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PTI