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‘We’re Scared’: Migrants Leave Jammu & Kashmir as Militants Target Civilians, Death Toll Rises to 11

© AP Photo / Dar YasinIndian migrant laborers leaving for their homes carry their belongings and walk towards a railway station on the outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021
Indian migrant laborers leaving for their homes carry their belongings and walk towards a railway station on the outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.10.2021
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Since 2 October, a total of 11 civilians have been shot dead by militants in Jammu and Kashmir. Most of them hailed from the Indian state of Bihar and belonged to the Hindu and Sikh communities.
A day after two migrants from India's Bihar state were shot dead in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district, videos of many such people from other states, who were there to earn their livelihood but had begun leaving the union territory, emerged on social media.
In a video posted by a Twitter user, Aditya Raj Kaul, a migrant worker can be heard saying, “We are saddened after Sunday's death. Nothing more to say, can’t stay here any longer. We are scared… We will leave”.
In recent days, a string of killings of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir has caused a widespread sense of unease and fear in people, particularly among the region's minorities — Hindus and Sikhs.
The killings have sparked public outrage across India, with politicians from all parties condemning the attacks.
"The recent killing of Hindus and Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir is a continuation of genocide that had been perpetrated on the minority community for decades", Anoop Bhatt, a Kashmiri Pandit, told Sputnik over the phone.
"This is an attempt to create a wave of fear in the minority community", he added.
In 1989-90, the selective killings of minorities, mainly Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs, by militants triggered widespread fear among the Kashmiri Pandit community. It forced them to move out of Kashmir and settle in different parts of the country.
Now, when non-Muslim people are being targeted to make them leave the region, many people have started comparing the recent situation to the late 1980s.
"The government's protection of these innocent lives is a matter of concern", he added.
Security Measures for Migrant Workers
Amid the unabated killings, the Jammu and Kashmir Police have "asked all [their] district chiefs in the valley to gather non-resident labourers and bring them to the nearest security camps immediately”, Indian daily Financial Express reported.
In a message flashed to all district police, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar said "All non-local labourers in your respective jurisdiction should be brought to the nearest police or central paramilitary force or army establishment just now. The matter is most urgent", the daily reported.
The Resistance Front (TRF), believed to be an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group, has claimed responsibility for most of them.
The Resistance Front, designated as a terror organisation by India, was created months after the Indian government ended Jammu and Kashmir's special status in 2019. It claimed responsibility for attacks against civilians last week, when two teachers were shot dead.
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