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Kashmir pandits hurt by “politics” over their return

Kashmiri Pandits

Jammu: Kashmiri pandits have objected to “politics” being played over their return to the Valley and rehabilitation, with some of them saying that a separate township should be created exclusively for them.

The kin of several of those killed by militants in the late ’80s also say they do not have enough resources now to buy back the properties they had left behind after the killings at that time.

“A township exclusively for the community is the need of the hour. If the Prime Minister is really serious about applying balm on our wounds, he must act and go ahead with the plan to establish such a township,” Ashutosh Taploo, son of Tika Lal who was among the earliest members of the community to have been killed by militants then, said.

Tika Lal, who was also a national executive member of the BJP, was gunned down by militants on September 14, 1989 when he was on his way to his office in a Srinagar court.

Ashutosh expressed resentment over the “undue politics” being played over the rehabilitation issue and said that the situation was not conducive for their return to their native places.

He claimed that the opposition by separatists to the proposal of setting up of a composite township for Kashmiri Pandits was part of a “conspiracy” to ensure that they do not return to the Valley.

Alliance partners PDP-BJP recently spoke in different voices on composite townships for settlement of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley.

While Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed has said no separate clusters would be built for the displaced community, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has made it clear that there was no change in the Centre’s view on it.

Nearly 62,000 pandit families, who migrated out of the Valley when militancy broke out in late 1989, are living in Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country.

While the state assembly was informed last year that 219 KPs were killed that time, community leaders like King C Bharti of the All Party Migrants Coordination Committee claim the figure would be over 600.

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