Under the new land laws, the J&K govt is transferring 3,000 acres of land to the Industries & Commerce department to invite outside investors. But it is not providing even 300 acres of land towards the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandit refugees who are living in exile since the last 31 years. The new land laws have brought uncertainty that the J&K UT administration has not explained to the satisfaction of many, including KP’s. Furthermore, we believe the Return & Rehabilitation of KP’s has a greater priority and must be addressed first before the new land laws come into effect.
It is an irony that the government is not thinking about giving land to its own beleaguered citizens, the Kashmiri Migrants, who have been forced to live outside the valley after the terrorism struck the valley.
It is the duty of the Central and the state governments to rehabilitate them back in their land of origin. Let this be clear that the Centre and the state failed to secure and protect its own people against the terror violence in the valley. Had the governments acted strongly since the advent of terrorism in the valley in late 1980’s, over five lakh Kashmiri Pandit families and many others would not have been forced to become refuges in their own country. Kashmiri Pandits and other migrants are the victims of democide which led to genocide.
It, therefore, is the obligation of the state govt and the Govt of India to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits and other migrants back in the Kashmir Valley . Being patriotic, is this the reward that an ordinary Kashmiri has been forced to live in exile since the last 31 years?
Honorable Prime Minister / Home Minister, you brought the CAA law to rehabilitate refugees of the neighboring countries, why do you discriminate and why don’t you rehabilitate your own in-country refugees?
We urge the Govt of India to immediately stop/ban sale and purchase of land within Kashmir until Kashmiri Pandits are not rehabilitated in the valley.
The BJP has not done much so far. The new LG appears indifferent to the community needs. Recently, valley based KP’s went on fast unto death which was called off because they received written assurances that the Govt will address their needs within a week. Now, three later they have been totally ignored once Again Kps of kashmir are going for hunger strike. The Jagti KP’s presently on strike have equally been ignored, Unemployed Kp youth is on strike since last 30 days near press club . This is the right example to undertsand what govt is doing with poor Kps.
The BJP has no plans for the return of Return & Rehabilitation of KPs.It seems that it is more interested in rotating and moving in and out non-migrant KP’s into the government jobs, station them in government quarters and send them back to Jammu after retirement. This is a joke.
The BJP is offering KP’s as sacrificial lambs to appease someone by announcing that they have no Return & Rehabilitation for KP’s on one side and rewriting land laws on the other side.
As a mark of protest against the government’s apathy towards the rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Pandits and other migrants in the valley, we are forced to look for other political solutions too. I have been invited by the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) members and I feel political engagement requires dialogue meantime we are in touch with other national political parties too.
Kashmir is our land of origin. We have a history of 5,000 years. Our culture and language are rooted in Kashmir. If we are not rehabilitated now, all this will vanish as a tree without roots cannot survive. We have been struggling for 31 years for justice and now is the time to bring it on. Our demands are few and these are:
(a) Recognition that 5 lakh Kashmiri Pandit’s Return & Rehabilitation should be part and parcel of the J&K Budget. Furthermore, we demand that at least 1/10 of 1 % (meaning 0.1%) of the annual J&K Budget should be, on a recurring basis, devoted to Return & Rehabilitation of Pandits in the valley.
(b) The GoI and all political parties should commit to assign at least three constituencies in the valley for KP nominees exclusively.
(c) The new land law has brought uncertainty that J&K UT has not explained to the satisfaction of many, including KP’s. Furthermore, we believe Return & Rehabilitation of KP’s be treated as a matter of priority and must be addressed first before the new land laws come into effect.
Author Satish Mahaldar is the Chairman of the group for “Reconciliations Return & Rehabilitations of Migrants”
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