Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Pandit migrants shout slogans against Jammu and Kashmir government during a
protest in Jammu, on Sunday, January 19, 2020. Large sections of the
400,000-strong Pandit community were forced to leave Kashmir in January 1990
following terror attacks and a secessionist movement spearheaded by extremist
groups.(Nitin Kanotra / HT Photo )
fulfilled its long-pending promise of negating Article 370 that gave special
status to Jammu and Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said that the
next objective for the party is to ensure the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the
sections of the 400,000-strong Pandit community were forced to leave Kashmir in
January 1990 following terror attacks and a secessionist movement spearheaded
by extremist groups. Only a handful of Pandits live in the Valley now.
national general secretary and in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir, Ram Madhav, said
the transformation of the region after the bifurcation of the erstwhile state
into two Union terrirtories was underway and the process of return of Pandits
to the Valley will begin only after consultations with the community
was seen as the architect of an unlikely alliance between the BJP and the
Peoples Democratic Party that formed the government in the state in 2015, said
his party was committed to the return of Pandits with “honour and security”.
Kashmiri Pandits had to face in the last three decades is a very unfortunate
phase, but the whole state of Jammu and Kashmir also passed through a similar
phase for the last seven decades. Now, major transformation is happening and we
are sure that this transformation will help all sections, including the
Pandits,” he said. The BJP-PDP alliance broke in 2018 and the government fell
section of KPs are demanding a separate homeland within the Valley, other
community leaders have expressed apprehension about the plans for their
resettlement, citing security concerns.
BJP-PDP government was in power, it had initiated dialogue with the Pandit
leadership with a view to explore ways for their return to the Valley. At that
time, after two rounds of discussion, it was broadly decided that townships for
them will be built in four or five locations across the Valley,” he said.
decision was arrived at on whether these would be exclusive or mixed townships,
in any case the views of the Pandits would ultimately prevail,” he added.
community organisations had a lukewarm response. “No consultations have been
held with us; and even if they had come to us with the idea of staggered
townships, we would have rejected it. We want single-place resettlement,” said
Agnishekhar, a member of Panun Kashmir, an organisation of Pandits that demands
a separate homeland.
Headline: Pandits will return to Kashmir Valley with dignity, says Ram Madhav
Source: The Hindustan Times