Independent , Honest and Dignified Journalism

Kashmiri Pandit Sabha Extends Gratitude to Union Home Minister: Stresses Importance of Legislative Representation

Preserving Cultural Identity: Kashmiri Pandit Sabha Urges Swift Action on Settlements and Compensation

JAmmu, 09-12-2023 : At the outset, the Kashmiri Pandit Sabha would like to welcome all the representatives of print and electronic media and thank for acceding to our request and attend the press conference today.

The Kashmiri Pandit Sabha wishes to put on record deep appreciation for the commendable initiatives taken by the Union and Union Territory Governments in the recent past, particularly after the abrogation of Article 370, to bring in normalcy in Kashmir Valley. Choking of the illegal hawala funding to terrorists and their supporters, abrogation of Art. 370 & 35 A and unwavering support extended to the security forces have been successful drives in weeding out terrorism from the valley.

The KP Sabha would applaud and thank the Union Home Minister for considering the demand of the community and granting representation of Kashmiri Pandits in the assembly. This will provide an opportunity to the Kashmiri Pandits to floor the issues on a legislative platform for the audience.

Ever since Sh. Narendra Modi led Government came to power in May 2014, the hopes of KP Community for an early return to the land of its forefather’s soared high. The Kashmiri Pandit Sabha was pleased when the Government of India initiated the process to build colonies to resettle the displaced community in the Valley. The Kashmiri Pandit Sabha whole heartedly supported the positive move of the government. In the situation where immovable properties of the Pandits have changed hands either due to distress sale or forcible occupation by land mafia, the efforts of the governments to provide livable settlements is a commendable task and needs to be expedited to facilitate early return and rehabilitation of the displaced community. Any further delay in ensuring return & rehabilitation in the valley will prove detrimental to the interest of distinct cultural identity of kashmiri Pandits which needs to be preserved at all cost. The Kashmiri Pandit Sabha whole heartedly welcomes the initiative of the government to set-up settlements for the return and rehabilitation of the KP community in times to come. It is appealed that settlements be set-up in the three erstwhile district headquarters of the Kashmir valley, namely Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag. Needless to mention that the settlements should be equipped with all kinds of basic amenities (hospitals, primary/secondary schools, shopping mall, etc.) and fool-proof security to infuse sense of safety.

Both the governments, Union and UT, has taken cognizance of unemployed youth of the KP community and initiated a drive to provide respectable jobs. It is a need of time to launch, yet another special recruitment drive for the community so that more deserving youths are gainfully employed. The employment should be afforded as per their qualification and aptitude. The community is struggling hard with the unemployment of over-aged youths. The Kashmiri Sabha appeals to mercifully consider engagement of over-aged youths to suitable employment. The members of KP community, who got displaced from the villages, left immovable fertile agriculture and horticulture lands behind which was the major source of income to them. The affected members of community deserve to be compensated adequately for the loss suffered by them as a result of migration from the valley.

The buildings in the Jagti Township (Jammu) and other transit camps have deteriorated with the passage of time and turned into uninhabitable condition. The Kashmiri Pandit Sabha appeals for an urgent repair to restore the condition of buildings fit for human habitation. Further, it is appealed that the relief components received by the displaced KPs, particularly the quantum of dry ration issued every month, for past three decades should not be tinkered with till the community returns to the valley. Further, it is a ripe time to consider enhancement of cash relief to the migrants.

The Kashmiri Pandit owners of the immovable property, who suffered heavy loss of the houses that were torched after the exodus in 1990, are waiting for long to receive the compensation in full. It is, therefore, appealed that the balance amount of compensation be released as early as possible.

It is also noted, with serious concern, that sale of migrant properties in an illegal manner has taken place misusing the J & K Migrant Immovable Property (Stay of proceedings) Act 1997. Attention of the UT government is drawn to this fact for effective and immediate action and to protect the immovable property of the displaced community.

The Kashmiri Pandit Sabha assures all cooperation in the venture undertaken by the government for the safe and honorable return and rehabilitation of the KPs. The Kashmiri Pandit Community appeals to make provision for election of its members to Legislative Assembly. Election of three (3) members from the community should be ensured, one each from the erstwhile three districts namely Srinagar, Baramulla & Anantnag. It would also be appropriate to nominate a member to the Parliament to further empower the KP Community.