Kashmiri Pandits urge govt to junk 10-district settlement plan

Updated: Sep 17,2020 10:58 GMT

social social social social Kashmiri Pandits urge govt to junk 10-district settlement plan

IANS

Tags: National
New Delhi/Jammu, Sep 17 (IANS) Prominent organisations of displaced Kashmiri Pandits have urged the central government to consider their demand for return and settlement of the exiled community at one single place instead of 10 districts in the Kashmir Valley.

In an official statement issued jointly by prominent Kashmiri Pandit organisations like 'Roots in Kashmir' (RIK), JKVM and Youth for Panun Kashmir (Y4PK) said that media reports have indicated that the government plans to settle displaced Kashmiri Pandits in various districts of Kashmir.

The organisations urged the government to not consider the 10-district settlement plans for Kashmiri Pandits in the valley and demanded 'Justice & One Place Settlement' as a prerequisite for an honourable return of the community. Spokesperson of RIK, Amit Raina said that a delegation of the organisations will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah to present a memorandum of the community demands.

Criticising the Centre, Raina said, the government has failed to analyse the reasons for the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. "Instead of drafting plans for their resettlement in various districts, they should first set up a committee to establish the reasons for the exodus and then formulate plans on the basis of the findings of the committee," he said.

Dilip Matto, President, JKVM said that though more than 1,800 Kashmiri Pandits have been killed by terrorists till date, not a single conviction has happened. The poor state of affairs does show the justice system and government in poor light. The return of Kashmiri Pandits without justice and one-place settlement is not possible, he added.

Lashing out at the BJP government, Vithal Chaudhary, national coordinator, Y4PK said that the persecution of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 was nothing short of genocide. "And the government instead of addressing the concerns of the genocide victims is treating us like cattle who can be driven to any place. Panun Kashmir is clear that nothing short of a one single settlement as homeland is acceptable to the organisation and the community," he said.

Sanjay Sapru, former vice president of AIKS, said that the government should take into consideration the aspirations of the community, which clearly are towards "one-place settlement and justice."

All the organisations unanimously demanded setting up of Special Investigation Team or Tribunal of Justice to identify the reasons of genocide and for faster delivery of justice. Besides, the outfits demanded that there should be 'One Territory or Place Settlement' of Kashmiri Pandits. "All communities irrespective of the faith are welcome to be part of the settlement, if they believe and subscribe to the Constitution of India," the statement said.

In addition, they demanded that the government issue a 'Temple & Shrine Protection Ordinance' as per the proposed Temple & Shrine Bill to protect temples, and religious and cultural assets of Hindus in Kashmir.

Over 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits, the indigeneous ethnic community of Kashmir, were driven out of their homeland by Islamist terrorists sponsored by Pakistan in 1990.

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