Hindus flee Kashmir amid violence
Islam News – Hundreds of Hindu families have fled the Kashmir region in recent weeks amid a spike in targeted militant attacks. According to The New York Times, three Hindus were killed last week, including a teacher gunned down outside her school.
Many more wish to leave, seeing disturbing echoes of the 1980s and 1990s, when militant attacks also drove a Hindu exodus. Some are demanding that the government transfer their jobs and families to safer places outside the majority-Muslim region.
But Kashmiri Hindus are meeting resistance from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his administration, who they say have erected blockades around their neighborhoods. Like many past Indian governments, Modi has portrayed the Hindu presence as an illustration of the restive Himalayan region’s stability. A mass exodus would hardly support that narrative.
Background: In 2019, Modi’s government dissolved Kashmir’s elected government and revoked its semiautonomous status. Since then, India’s government has clamped down on dissent. Kashmiri Hindu organizations say the renewed wave of targeted killings is an apparent retaliation for the policy.
History: India and Pakistan have disputed Kashmir since the end of British rule in 1947. In the late 1980s, a Kashmiri separatist movement targeted the region’s Hindus. After a mass exodus, the government encouraged Kashmiri Hindus to return by offering them government jobs and payments for buying or rebuilding homes.