Since 1990, due to militancy issues in the Kashmir valley, 61,000 Kashmiri Pandit families along with some Muslim and Sikh families have migrated from the valley. However, surprisingly 40,000 are still residing in the state, and are in Jammu, while 19,000 have come to Delhi and remaining 2,000 to various other parts of the country. This has been revealed in an RTI reply from the Ministry of Home Affairs (Jammu and Kashmir Division), Government of India. The RTI was filed by a Pune based entrepreneur Prafful Sarda seeking details on how many Kashmiri Pandita have been affected by the militancy. He had posed an array of questions, of which the ministry replied only this much. For the remaining ones he has been asked to apply under RTI rules prevalent in Jammu and Kashmir state, which is different from the rest of the country. The RTI reply reads, “Due to militancy in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the early 1990s most of the Kashmiri Pandit families along with some Sikh and Muslim families migrated from the Kashmir valley to Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country. More than 40,000 registered Kashmiri Migrant families are residing in Jammu, about 19,000 registered Kashmiri Migrant families are living in Adelphi and about 2000 families are settled in other states.” Also readKashmiri pandit’s sweet gesture: Candies for Eid processionSarda claims his reason for seeking this information was that, “With this RTI figures, I wish to highlight our courts do have time to know and understand Rohingya Muslims issue but the citizen of this country “Kashmiri Pandits” are fighting for justice and courts have not given any firm decision in last 30 years.”
Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Mehbooba Mufti government announced amnesty to first time stone throwers, centre’s Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma is all set to kick-start `Mission Kashmir’ 2.0 and meet the cross sections of society in strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir.Unlike his previous visit last month, Sharma is starting his tour from the winter capital city Jammu on Friday. Sharma will be visiting the migrant pandit camps and meet the representatives of the community to discuss their problems.During his last visit he had met the delegation of Panun Kashmir, an apex body of Kashmir migrant pandits in Jammu. This time around he is touring their camps in Jagti and take on the spot view of their problems.Official figures reveal that around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered in Jammu and 21,000 others in Delhi and other states. Of the total migrant families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims, and 1,758 Sikhs.Figures released by Kashmir Pandit Sangrash Simiti (KPSS), an apex body of non-migrant pandits, reveal that 677 Kashmiri pandits have been killed by the militants since 1990. The figures include the mass massacres of Kashmiri Pandits at different places at different times. However, the state government figures reveal that only 219 Kashmiri Pandits were killed in the state since 1989.“From day one we have been saying pandit townships in Kashmir are not alternative to our miseries. We believe that homeland for pandits in the valley with Union territory status is the only solution”, said Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, president of Panun Kashmir.In a resolution passed by Panun Kashmir in December 1991, Kashmiri Pandits demanded that the Centre create a homeland comprising the regions of the valley to the East and North of river Jhelum. The homeland, according to Panun Kashmir, should have a union territory status where the Constitution of India is made applicable in letter and spirit to ensure a right to life, liberty, freedom of expression and faith, equality and rule of law.“We have met Sharma last time and we do not have any problem in meeting him again if he desires so this time around. We will be pressing for a homeland. We also want to reiterate that the sovereignty of the country is non-negotiable. It is the bottom-line and government should make it clear during discussions”, said Chrungoo.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Building pressure on Modi government, representatives of Kashmiri Pandits on Friday met Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre’s special representative for Kashmir, and reiterated their demand for reinstatement in homeland with Union territory status. They demanded that Article 370 and Article 35A be revoked for finding a permanent solution to the vexed Kashmir issue.The four-member delegation of displaced Kashmiri Pandit community, under the aegis of Panun Kashmir, also asserted before Sharma that the sovereignty of the country is non-negotiable.”A serious dialogue process should be initiated by the government for the establishment of a separate homeland in Kashmir valley as explicitly demanded in the Margdarshan Resolution of 1991,” said Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, president of Panun Kashmir, who led the delegation.In a resolution passed by Panun Kashmir in December 1991, Kashmiri Pandits demanded that the Centre create a homeland comprising the regions of the valley to the East and North of river Jhelum. The homeland, according to Panun Kashmir, should have a union territory status where the Constitution of India is made applicable in letter and spirit to ensure right to life, liberty, freedom of expression and faith, equality and rule of law.”The Article 370 and Article 35A have become an unnecessary baggage of the past errors of the rulers of India; there is a national consensus to review these absurd laws that are in contravention of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution to the citizens of India,” said Chrungoo.Article 370 recognizes the special status to the state, while Article 35A empowers the J&K government to frame laws to bar all Indians — except original inhabitants — from purchasing immovable property, getting government jobs and availing of state-sponsored scholarship schemes.”They should be abrogated under the due process of law as soon as possible and the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir state) Order 14th May 1954, since was/is an intentional fraud, be also abrogated along with,” said Chrungoo.Official figures reveal that around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered in Jammu and 21,000 others in Delhi and other states. Of the total migrant families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims and 1,758 Sikhs.Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s advisor Professor Amitabh Mattoo said the government is committed for ensuring honorable and safe return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley.”Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had the vision that migrants are part of Kashmiriyat and they should return with dignity, as Kashmiri Pandits are an inseparable part of the Kashmiri society, and the inclusive ethos, for which Kashmir has been known for ages, is incomplete without them,” Prof Mattoo further maintained.Meanwhile, on the fifth day of his Mission J&K, Sharma met cross sections of society in the winter capital on Friday. From Pandits to business leaders, Centre’s interlocutor interacted with several delegations in Jammu on Friday.Migrant familiesOfficial figures reveal around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered in Jammu and 21,000 others in Delhi and other states.Of the total migrant families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims and 1,758 Sikhs, the figures reveal.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Q: What is National Conference’s response to the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as the interlocutor for Kashmir?A: As far as I’m concerned as the president of the party, it is good that an interlocutor has been appointed but I have a question for government of India. What about the earlier reports of the interlocutors which lie with the Centre. What has happened to those reports. Late Padgaonkar ji and three committees which were made and gave the reports, what happened to them? Why don’t they put them before the Parliament?Q: Why weren’t these reports implemented. You were part of the UPA?
ALSO READ Big challenge, will work with an open mind, says Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar SharmaA: We did say and always asked as to why these reports aren’t being implemented. Now that government has gone and now you have a present government. Governments may go but things are there. Here is a government which says that they are working for the people and I would be delighted if they open those books and put them before the Parliament.Q: Do you feel that successive talks without implementation of the recommendations added fuel to the fire?
ALSO READ J&K peace talks: How the past interlocutors and groups failed to break any deadlock A: Absolutely. They spent two years in the state, visiting Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir and met every single person including Hurriyat and compiled the report. It is there in the Home Ministry. For God’s sake, bring it out. Q: Why did the government sat on the report?
ALSO READ Appointment of interlocutor will not impact army’s operation in Jammu and Kashmir: Bipin RawatA: I think, you should ask Manmohan Singh as to why anything wasn’t done. Q: Has the present government taken note of the reports ?A: I don’t know. Please put this question to home minister Rajnath Singh. He will be able to answer.Q: Is it mandatory to speak with Pakistan? Hurriyat has made an issue out of it.A: Frankly I don’t think that interlocutor can discuss with Pakistan. Discussion with Pakistan will have to be by government of India and at levels they chose to do so. Whether it is Home Minister or Prime Minister it is for them to decide. They have a part of Jammu and Kashmir with them and it cannot be ignored. Q: Does the appointment show that muscular approach doesn’t work with people?A: Absolutely. Doval’s doctrine has failed. His doctrine was to beat them to the ground and do everything you can to suppress them. Every theory has failed. They thought that with demonetization, militancy would disappear, it is at the highest level today. What have they achieved? Nothing. Our tourism has died. It is at zero. Nobody bothered.Q: What would you like the interlocutor to do?A: I don’t know who is he going to engage with. Home Minister tried to engage with every national party except the Hurriyat. No Home Minister didn’t talk to Hurriyat. I don’t know what a retired civil servant would be able to achieve. Q: Wouldn’t it provide a buffer to mainstream parties like yours? Workers of mainstream parties have been attacked by terrorists?A: We have had this happen from 1989. Our workers and leaders have been targeted. No one cared about it. We will face the brunt but we will not disappear. We will be here. Q: What has been the cause of the present unrest where civil institutions are failing to function normally?A: One is the government of BJP and PDP. It has been the greatest misery that have been inflicted on the people of this state. it really put petrol on the fire and our neighbour utilised it to the best as it could.Q: Are you saying that BJP-PDP is an unnatural alliance?A; I’m not the only person who has said this. Ask anyone on the street and they will tell you.Q: BJP has said that this is not the first-time unrest has taken place. Worse unrest have taken place in past. A: They failed in everything so where does the blame lie? Q: Present Army Chief has spoken about the success of Army’s approach in the valley. A: I think Army chief should restrict himself to the matters of the Army. He should look after the borders of India rather than talking about other things. It doesn’t augur well for him. Q: Has politics of nationalism vs anti nationalism affected the political discourse in valley?A: Who are anti nationals? If people ask for their rights, do they become anti nationals? If they want to speak truth, do they become anti national? We gave the autonomy resolution to Vajpayee, was that anti national? It is in the Constitution of India. I don’t understand what is meant by anti national. If they want to smash the pride of the people then they are not going to succeed.Q: Kashmir too at one end has not been accommodative. Pandits have not been able to return.A: Who is responsible for Pandits not going back? All mainstream parties and Hurriyat welcomed them. We asked them to come back. There are Pandits living in the Valley. They didn’t migrate. It is for the others and make a move and come home. It is as much as their home as it is my home. They must make move.Q: Is 35 A an issue in Kashmir?A: If it wasn’t a big issue, even PDP wouldn’t have been shouting against it. It is a major issue in the valley. Q: Have you spoken about this issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi?A: Many people have asked and I would say that I have spoken to him and if the situation arise I would speak to him again. I have no problem in speaking to the Prime Minister Modi.Q: Where does the solution lie?A: Heal the wounds of the people and not by force and arrests that are being done and talk to Pakistan. Talk to them or else it will continue to happen. Only talking to Delhi will not make slightest difference. I remember Vajpaye’s words. Friends can be changed but not neighbours. We either live in harmony with neighbour and both progress or live in animosity and both suffer. These are the golden words. There is always an opportunity for finding a peaceful solution and I think PM has the courage to do so and if he takes that step he can make a difference but only to India and to the sub continent and world peace.Q: Does Kashmir miss Vajpayee? Do you miss Vajpayee?A: We all miss Vajpayee. India misses him. He is still alive. He is a great leader.Q: So where is the hope for peace?A: I just hope that government of India takes the step to bring peace to the valley. They say that hope lies life and if one loses hope one would lose life. I hope for peace and prosperity not only for Kashmir but for the whole country. Q: Arrests by NIA also show that Pakistan is funding separatism and terror network?A: Nobody will mind if those arrests prove that money came from Pakistan and they used it. But the longer you hold them in prison and hold them longer and longer then people wouldn’t believe you and would feel that they are being pushed for saying things. They feel that there is nothing in it.Q: Are you saying that investigations must conclude quickly?A: Yes, it must and quicker and better. It must be fast paced. It should be revealed to the people of India.
Updated: Sep 25, 2017, 11:07 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> BJP chief Amit Shah on Monday spoke against “selective” intolerance, saying it was “hotly debated” during elections but not taken up when his party workers were killed in Kerala and West Bengal.Selective intolerance was not good for democracy, he told the party’s national executive here. Shah’s remarks come against the backdrop of political violence in Kerala and West Bengal and the killing of journalists in Bengaluru and Tripura. Certain acts of intolerance were glossed over and some others were passionately debated, a party statement quoted Shah as saying.”When our workers are killed in Kerala or West Bengal, when atrocities take place against them, when Kashmiri Pandits are evicted, then intolerance is not talked about. But whenever we approach elections, intolerance is hotly debated. “If there’s no consistency in raising the issue of intolerance then no one has any right to raise it,” he said.
ALSO READ PM Modi launches Saubhagya scheme, targets electrification of all households by Dec 2018
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Several Kashmiri Pandits today gathered at the Jantar Mantar here to pay tribute to the victims of the recent terror attack on Amarnath yatris. Various NGOs of the community led by Kashmiri Samiti Delhi along with All Party Migrant Coordination Committee, Panun Kashmir, Roots in Kashmir and Youth For Panun Kashmir express their solidarity with the injured and the family of those killed. They lighted lamps and prayed for the deceased. They also vowed to fight against “separatism” and for the unity and integrity of India. Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed when their bus was attacked by terrorists in Anantnag on July 10.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid tight security, a group of around 600 Kashmiri Pandits, including women and children, today left for annual pilgrimage to the Mata Kheer bhawani shirne in Kashmir valley. Amid chants of ‘Mata Kheer Bhawani Ki Jai’, the Kashmiri Pandits boarded around 20 State Road Transport Corporation buses and left this morning to pay obeisance at the Mata Kheer Bhawani Temple in Tulmulla area of Ganderbal district. Divisional Commissioner, Jammu region, Mandeep Bhandari and head of the Mata Kheerbhawani 2017 reception committee and former bureaucrat Kiran Watal, flagged off the vehicles. Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti greeted Kashmiri Pandits on the eve of Mela Kheer Bhawani. Yesterday, more than 100 pilgrims had left for Mata Kheer Bhawani shrine in Manzgam in Kulgam district in troubled South Kashmir area for organising a annual maha yajna. “We have reached to shrine safely. The preparing for the yajna (hawan) has started,” Head of Kheerbhawani Prabandik Committee Manzgam, Kuldeep Raina said. Watal, who along with his team left with pilgrims, told reporters that “unnecessary” fear has been created by some people and it cannot stop KPs from visiting the shrine of their principal deity. “It is centuries old yatra. We have been going to Kheer Bhawani temple in Tulmul Ganderbal, Kheerbhawani temple in Manzgaam (Kulgam), shrine of Mata at Tikker (Kupwara), Tripursundri temple at devsar (Kulgam) tomorrow. KPs are going to all these shrines to pay their obeisance,” Watal said. He said the state authorities have made security arrangements at par with Amarnath Yatra en route Mata Kheer Bhawani shirne and back. A voluntary committee, including representatives from camps and non-camps, has been set up under the umbrella of Mata Kheer Bhawani Yatra 2017 Reception Committee with an aim to provide facilities to the pilgrims en route the temple. Omkar Nath, who has been visiting the cave shrine for the past 17 year, said that he will not stop going to shrine to pay his obeisance. “I will rather die en route but will not stop from going to Mata Kheerbhawani. I am going this year too,” he said. The shrine of the Hindu goddess, Mata Ragyna was built by erstwhile Dogra rulers of Jammu and Kashmir. Nestled among mammoth Chinar trees in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, the temple witnessed massive crowds of KP devotees who made the journey from across the country. Walking barefoot, the devotees carry rose petals and offerings to the goddess. Jammu and Kashmir government has announced a holiday tomorrow in the Kashmir Valley on the occasion of Kheer Bhawani Mela. In 2016, about 40,000 people took part in the pilgrimage while 30,000 in 2015 and about 60,000 in 2014. The shrine is called Kheer Bhawani as devotees offer milk and kheer to the deity known as Ragnya Devi. The fair held at this annual festival is a symbol of centuries-old communal harmony and brotherhood as local Muslims make all arrangements for devotees and even set up stalls selling flowers and other material for the devotees to offer at the temple. The governor, in his message, said that this festival is a shining example of communal harmony and brotherhood which symbolise the glorious pluralistic ethos of Jammu and Kashmir in the centuries past. He also prayed for peace, harmony, progress and prosperity in the state. The chief minister, greeting people on the eve of Mela Kheer Bhawani, said that the mela symbolises the multi- religious and tolerant ethos of the state which has been an epitome of harmony and brotherhood since ages. She made an appeal to people to strengthen the bond of togetherness between various sections of the society which Jammu and Kashmir has been proud of.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits today held demonstrations in Jammu city to protest against the police failure to trace a constable who went missing from Kupwara district 11 days ago and demanded a CBI probe into it. Over 500 Kashmiri Pandits assembled at Press club premises here and held protest demonstration against the failure of the police to trace Constable Sameer Kumar who not reported for duty since May 14. They took out protest rally in the area and demanded CBI probe into it. “We have no faith in the police. Police has given a twist to the case by making a false statement. Police should withdraw the statement that cop has committed suicide. We want probe into it by CBI,” All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference (ASKPC) President, Ravinder Raina told reporters during the protest. Raina said, “Police and security forces should trace the cop as we feel that he has been kidnapped by the militants and the version given by the SPO, who was accompanying him, is totally false as he is involved into his disappearance”. The National Conference Minority Cell President, M K Yogi said that Kashmiri Pandit community suspects a foul play into the disappearance of the cop as militants have been repeatedly targeting policemen in Kashmir Valley. The Kashmiri migrants also held protests at Nagrota and Jagti camps and blocked the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway for some time. Posted in Srinagar, the constable had gone to Kupwara along with his uncle Head Constable Dileep Kumar. According to reports, after dropping his uncle at district police lines Kupwara, the constable reached Yonsoo bridge at Chogal, Handwara, and “jumped into the Puhroo river reportedly under the influence of liquor,” a police official had said. Yesterday, Jammu and Kashmir police constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to trace a constable who went missing from Kupwara district. Constable Sameer Kumar has not reported for duty since May 14 and a missing report stands lodged in Sherghari police station in this regard, a police spokesman had said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An organisation of displaced Kashmiri Pandits today raised the issue of security of its employees serving in Kashmir and places of worships with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. “We have met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today and raised the issues of concern to the community. We have raised with her issues of security of employees serving in Kashmir and places of worship as well,” All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC) Chairman Vinod Pandita. Pandita said that employees who have been posted under Prime Minister’s Employment Package in Kashmir have developed fear psychosis in view of the recent increase of violent incidents in the Kashmir Valley. He said employees posted in Kashmir should be called back to the valley only when the situation becomes conducive. “We have also raised the issue of release of their salaries with the CM and demanded that till the security situation becomes conducive, they should be allowed to stay back (outside the valley),” he said. 1,700 Pandit employees fled the valley following violent protests after Hizb terrorist Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter last year and employees’ colonies were targeted by stone-pelters.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kashmiri stone pelters are part of “global terrorism” and a larger “pan-Islamic intifada fundamentalist movement”, a frontal organisation of displaced Kashmiri Pandits said here today. Ashwani Chrungoo, president, Panun Kashmir told reporters that while stone pelting was not new in Kashmir (its origin dating back to 1931), stone pelters in contemporary times are part of a larger pan-Islamic intifada fundamentalist movement and global terrorism.”Stone pelting has been a part of politics in Kashmir since 1931. Today stone pelting has been adopted as a means to cover the terrorism movement in Kashmir,” he said. “The minority community of Pandits were the first target of this stone pelting culture, and then (when the Pandits were forced out of the valley), the practice was used to settle scores with political rivals in the state,” he said.Chrungoo was here to meet displaced Kashmiris settled in Gujarat as well as city mayor Gautam Shah to discuss issues pertaining to the Kashmir situation. The Panun Kashmir chief also came down heavily on “so-called mainstream politicians of the valley for supporting stone pelting,” adding that such politicians have used the issue to meet their political ends.”Thus, it is not astonishing that the so-called mainstream politicians of the valley have come out in support of the stone pelters. “We expect the Government of India to take tough stand and decisive action against them, and this nationalist forces need to be strengthened in order to tackle fundamentalists,” he said.The displaced community is also pressing for their demand for carving out a union territory within Kashmir for Pandits and other minorities in the valley, Chrungoo said.”The Centre needs to take a tough stand to instill confidence in the nationalist forces in the state and pave way for some tough security and political decisions. Creation of homeland for Hindus and other minorities is one of those decisions,” he said.”We demand from the government to hold a dialogue with the displaced Pandits and find a way out. This homeland will help Kashmiris go back to their home state. For the first time, the Indian government has given a number of things to J&K, including IIT, IIM, hotel management institute, and a river front which will be a replica of Sabarmati riverfront.So we are hopeful that the present government will take our demands positively,” he said. Chrungoo also demanded from the Gujarat government to give displaced status to Kashmiri Pandits in the state.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Conference leader Sameer Kaul today alleged that the Kashmiri Pandits have lost their regional identity when the PDP formed an alliance with the BJP. “When the PDP-BJP government was formed, I had a shocking realisation that my community Kashmiri Pandit community was sold by (former chief minister and PDP founder) Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) by taking it out of regional identity,” he told reporters here. Kaul, who yesterday joined the NC, also said that he had opposed the BJP for its thinking and philosophy, and fought against the party from when he was in PDP for four years. “But, I did not know that there was already an arrangement (between the PDP and the BJP) behind my back. It was a political arrangement,” he said, alleging it was a part of the PDP-BJP alliance to handover a part of Kashmiri society (Pandit community) to the BJP. Kaul, who was the national spokesman of the PDP, said Kashmiri Pandit community lost their regional identity the moment they were “sold out” to the BJP by the PDP. “They lost their home and hearth, and their political identity the moment they were sold out by the PDP to the BJP. They (Kashmiri Pandits) are now a part of the BJP agenda and for that the BJP has bought them in lieu of the few MLC seats,” he alleged. He also said that the Agenda of Alliance (AoA) between the PDP and the BJP was a “misappropriation” of the separatists’ agenda. “The AoA, with the BJP, was nothing but the Hurriyat’s agenda. They (PDP) stole Hurriyat’s food (agenda) from the plate and tried to eat themselves which was wrong. It was misappropriation of the Hurriyat agenda,” he claimed. He said in the last 60 years, 25-27 per cent of space was created and preserved for Hurriyat so that they also indulge in their own politics in that space. “They (Hurriyat) have every right as citizens of J-K to take forward their politics. They have every right to do politics in a non-violent way if they have differences with the country’s philosophy… this was done because they have their own politics like who is the bigger separatist leader, which is the real and stronger Hurriyat…there was politics in that as well. “When separatists indulged in their politics, only then could you (PDP) have talked about governance, development and mainstream politics. But what you did is that when the government was formed, you said we will show you how to handle them. You took their plate, which PDP should not have done,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain the plea filed by National Panthers Party (NPP) chief Bhim Singh, seeking to constitute a special bench in connection with amendment in the rehabilitation law of people who had come from Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir. The organisations working for Kashmiri Pandits at Jammu earlier on Sunday demanded that the Centre take a fresh view of its policy for the community?s rehabilitation in Kashmir Valley. They claimed that the BJP-PDP Government in Jammu and Kashmir ?failed? to ensure safety of 1,800 Kashmiri Pandit (KP) employees under the Prime Minister?s special package announced for the displaced community?s return to homeland.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Twenty-seven years after the turmoil began in Kashmir, hundreds of local Muslims gathered at the ancient Nand Kishore temple in the Valley’s Sumbal area and held a symbolic puja to mark Mahashivratri festival in the absence of Kashmiri Pandits.Carrying banners and placards, Muslims stood in solidarity with the migrant Kashmiri Pandits appealing to them to return to their homes so that they could celebrate the next Mahashivratri together.Forty-two-year-old contractor Imtiyaz Hussian Parrey was among the first to arrive at the temple to send a clear message of amity and brotherhood to the Pandits who were forced to flee Kashmir in 1990. Donning a skull cap, Parrey, a devout Muslim, cleaned the temple premises and the sanctum sanctorum before offering flowers and fruits to the Shiv Lingam.“We performed puja in our own simple way since we are Muslims and do not know much of Hindu rituals,” said Parrey.Since there are no Pandits living in Sumbal, local Muslims brought a Hindu priest from the neighbouring area to oversee the temple reopening ceremony and rituals. The priest also performed the mandatory prayers to mark the Mahashivratri also known as Herath, the biggest festival of Kashmiri Pandits.“No religious function has been held in this temple for the last 27 years,” said Parrey.Figures released by Kashmir Pandit Sangrash Simiti (KPSS), an apex body of non-migrant Pandits, reveal that there are 808 Kashmiri Pandit families comprising 3,451 people who stayed put even after the militancy and continue to live at 232 different places in the valley.KPSS figures reveal that 637 Pandits have been killed by militants since 1990. However, state government figures reveal that only 219 Kashmiri Pandits were killed in the state since 1989.“There were 50 to 60 Pandit families living in Sumbal before the turmoil. All of them have migrated and there is no Pandit living here. We feel incomplete without our Pandit brethren and that is why we have come here to invite them to come back to their homes,” said Jahangir Ahmad, a local resident here.Outside the sanctum sanctorum, hundreds of Muslims distributed walnuts and sweets to mark the festival. “Pandits used to distribute walnuts on this occasion. Today we have fulfilled this ritual on their behalf,” said Showkat Hussain, another resident.A Lonely Temple Situated on the banks of Jhelum, Nand Kishore temple also known as Nandraza temple in Kashmiri houses a holy Shiv Lingum that has been placed at the trunk of the gigantic Chinar which ascends through the roof of sanctum sanctorum.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister Jitendra Singh today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “raincoat” remark against his predecessor Manmohan Singh was a compliment as he had “emerged unscathed” from scandals and scams in the UPA rule.”The Prime Minister was actually quite appreciative of Manmohan Singh. He said that despite scandals and scams … not withstanding the stigma attached to his colleagues, the former prime minister had an image and character to emerge unscathed. It is a compliment to him,” he said. The minister said the Congress leadership was “hesitant” to compliment leaders outside a “particular” family be it Manmohan Singh, P V Narsimha Rao or Sardar Patel.”They are always hesitant to compliment their own leaders for the fear of risking the displeasure of a particular part, particular family or a dynasty,” he said. He accused the Opposition of running away from debate in Parliament and said the government was ready for discussing every issue “even if there is dissent”.”We are ready for a discussion on any issue even if there is dissent and this has been reiterated time and again by our spokespersons and the Parliamentary Affairs Minister. “It is the Opposition which is running away from the argument and the session. It is a burden on the taxpayers’ money. People are not going to forgive them for this,” the minister told reporters.Jitendra said the Opposition did not have “enough” arguments to discuss the issues and was making excuses to avoid a debate. About the Kulgam encounter in which four militants, two army men and a civilian were killed, the Union Minister in Prime Minister’s Office said terrorism on Indian soil is being sponsored by Islamabad.”Pakistan has emerged as the epicentre of terrorism. Sooner or later, terrorism will consume the soil from which it originates. “There is a series of evidence and it’s no longer a secret that terrorism on Indian soil, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, is promoted and exported from Islamabad,” he said.The minister said the entire world is “coming round” to the Modi government’s assertion that Pakistan must contain the export of terrorism from its soil. “The sooner it does the better it will be… not only for the Indian subcontinent but for Pakistan as well,” he added.On the UP assembly polls, Jitendra said: “BJP is way ahead of all the other parties. The people are looking for a change and an alternative to SP and BSP.” Asked about the resolution passed by the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly for the return of Kashmiri Pandits and other migrants, he said BJP and its government at the Centre and in the state in alliance with PDP is committed to ensuring “dignified and respectable return of KPs to the Valley”.”Composite culture in Kashmir is not possible without Kashmiri Pandits,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>to address the core issues of the geopolitical aspirations of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir with free flow of Indian Constitution and also their economic rehabilitation. He demanded creation of an additional 1000 jobs in the central departments for the displaced community in addition to the Prime Minister’s package. Meanwhile, Bhatt raised the issue of unemployment of youths, claiming that the PM’s employment package is 75 per cent incomplete. He demanded that all the 6000 jobs under the sanctioned package be filled forthwith but without the draconian conditions attached with it. Alleging that the government has failed to implement the employment package, he said, those employees, who have fled Kashmir, should be treated at par with the migrant employees in Jammu. In the memorandum, KPs demanded a separate recruiting agency for the community youths as after the lapse of eight years, only 25 per cent of PM special employment package of 2008 has been implemented.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amidst hectic electioneering in UP, firebrand BJP MP Yogi Adityanath on Saturday again sought to play the religious card, saying the alleged exodus of Hindus from Kairana and ‘love jihad’ were important issues for the party.BJP, he said, will not let Western Uttar Pradesh turn into another Kashmir, a reference to the forced migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s. “Issues like Hindu exodus from Kairana, love jihad and women’s safety will dominate the poll scene,” he said at an event organised by a news channel here.”Yogi is not talking about today, Yogi is talking about future. Exodus is a very big issue for us,” he said, adding, “BJP will not let western Uttar Pradesh turn into another Kashmir.” BJP MP Hukum Singh had in June last year claimed that close to 350 Hindus had left Kairana over alleged threats and extortion by criminal elements belonging to a particular community.The Lok Sabha member from Gorakhpur claimed that in eastern part of UP, both Hindu and Muslim population was safe. “In eastern UP, if a Hindu is safe, so is a Muslim,” he said.The BJP’s star campaigner said the issue of love jihad will certainly be a crucial point in the polls. “Love jihad was then an issue and it is still an issue,” he said.When asked about the agenda of his “anti-Romeo squads”, the controversial leader said the “force” will work towards restoring pride of women and ending discriminations. “There are areas in western UP where girls can’t go to school. The squad will work for their rights and ensure safety of women in the state,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>and Kashmir government that BJP may use judiciary to scrap Article 370 as the “saffron party has understood that they cannot use legislation to scrap it”. The NC leader had cautioned the issue may snowball into a major controversy in the future. Hitting out at those raking up the issue of demographic change in Kashmir if Kashmiri Pandits return to the Valley, the chief minister said: “How can they live there. Recently they fled from the Hall transit camp.” She said it is “big challenge for all” to bring Kashmiri Pandits back to the Valley with honour, dignity and security. “They are living in transit camps in Vesu, Sheikhpur, Mattan and Hall and had to flee again when the situation in Kashmir turned worse. You (Omar) had in 2010 set up such camps in Hall and Vesu and other places, then there was no opposition that there was a demographic change taking place. “But when we are saying we want to set up additional accommodation for more Kashmiri Pandits… there is opposition,” she said. Mufti said some members of the Assembly and the Council told me that Kashmiri Pandits be rehabilitated in “their places. When our ex-MLAs and our workers are still in hotels and other places under security cover, how can we say like this. That means in the heart of hearts, we do not want them to come back to Kashmir”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It took 27 long years for the Jammu and Kashmir lawmakers to rise above party lines and unanimously pass a resolution for the homecoming of the migrant Kashmiri Pandits (KPs).The resolution was moved by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Working President of National Conference Omar Abdullah in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday. The ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) supported the resolution.”All of us should come together and pass a resolution so that Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs and even Muslims who left Kashmir due to the turmoil can come back to their homes. It has been 27 years since they left the valley and we all should rise above politics and pass a resolution for their comeback,” said Omar Abdullah.Senior PDP leader and J&K Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rehman Veeri supported the resolution saying there is a need to bring the people back.However, Awami Ittehad Party supremo and MLA Langate Engineer Rasheed opposed the resolution arguing that since no Kashmiri is opposed to the return of Pandits, there was no need to pass a resolution.”If Omar or Mehbooba is really concerned, they should speak about those migrants also who were forced to migrate to other side of the LoC. The resolution is nothing but an act to appease Kashmiri Pandits and give a notion that the issue of return of migrant Pandits is the only burning issue,” he saidThe Pandits reacted guardedly to the resolution saying there is a need for political and economic rehabilitation of the exiled community before they return to their homes in the Valley.”The resolution is better late than never. But at the same time, the government has to take the Kashmiri Pandits into confidence. When the issue of a separate colony was raised, the separatists opposed it. We need a political and economic rehabilitation,” said Vinod Pandit, President of All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC), an apex body of migrants.The organisation held a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to mark January 19 as the Black Day on completion of 27 years of their exodus from the Valley. The mood was belligerent at the protest rally. Hindu Raksha Dal, a right wing organisation, warned the government that the movement could turn violent if its demands were not met.The demands include initiation of a dialogue with Kashmiri Hindus by the Centre as well as the J&K government.Lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits left the Valley after the onset of militancy in 1990. Official figures reveal that around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered in Jammu and 21,000 others in Delhi and other states. Of the total migrant families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims and 1,758 Sikhs.Figures by Kashmir Pandit Sangrash Simiti (KPSS), an apex body of non migrant Pandits, reveal that there are 808 Kashmir Pandit families comprising 3451 people who did not migrate from the Valley at the onset of militancy in 1990 and live at 232 different places in Kashmir.KPSS figures reveal that 637 pandits were killed by the militants since 1990. The figures include the mass massacres of Kashmiri pandits at different villages at different times. However the state government figures reveal that only 219 Kashmiri Pandits were killed in the state since 1989.