US-based Kashmiri Hindu outfit supports Pandit employees’ demand for relocation

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New Delhi: A US-based Kashmiri Pandit group has supported the demand of community members employed under a special government package for relocation outside Kashmir Valley in view of targeted killings by terrorists.

Alleging that the issues related to Pandits are being used for politics across the country, the Kashmiri Hindu Foundation (KHF) urged the central government to initiate a dialogue with the Panun Kashmir, an organisation representing the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community, to address their grievances.

“The series of selective killings (by terrorists) in Kashmir shows that normalcy has not been restored…. Taking our miniscule community back by force in a scattered way, like it is being done under the prime minister’s (employment) package, is destined to prove to be a fatal experiment,” the foundation said in a resolution passed at its special session.

Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits employed in the valley under the prime minister’s package fled to Jammu in May last year following the killing of their colleague Rahul Bhat inside his office by terrorists. Many of them are on a protest strike in Jammu, demanding their relocation outside the valley.

“The current agitation by the employees of the PM package, which is termed by the government a rehabilitation package, proves that this experiment of rehabilitation has also failed. The government wants to project that only by sending a few thousand Kashmiri Pandits back to the valley, they have rehabilitated us,” the resolution reads.

Questioning the “Naya Kashmir” slogan of the government, it alleged that the PM package employees are facing “grave and systematic human rights violations” at the hands of authorities which have stopped their salaries, using force and detaining them.

“We demand immediate relocation of Kashmiri Pandit employees to Jammu to safeguard their right to life until a comprehensive rehabilitation plan as per aspirations of the whole community are considered,” the KHF said.

Suggesting initiation of dialogue with the Panun Kashmir, it said the organisation can apprise the central government about the ground realities which will help in addressing the issues faced by the community effectively.

The KHF reiterated the demand for carving out a separate homeland with Union Territory status to the east and north of river Jhelum for the community in accordance to The “Margdarshan Resolution” adopted on December 28, 1991, by pandits after their migration from the valley.

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( With inputs from )

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