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Kashmir Pandits unimpressed by govt efforts for their return

Nov 10, 2006:

Sixteen years have passed since Kashmiri Pandits left their homeland after the outbreak of insurgency in Indian administered Kashmir. Repeated assurances for their return by separatists as well as the state government seem to bear no fruit so far. Peerzada Arshad Hamid reports.

Flats waiting for reluctant families
Flats constructed by Jammu and Kashmir Government for Kashmiri Pandits in the outskirts of Mattan town
When Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus) left the Valley in 1990 after the outbreak of an armed insurgency, they left back their properties, in hopes of returning one day. That day is still to come.

The abandoned houses of the Pandits through out the valley lie either in ruins or are occupied by the troops stationed in Kashmir. A large number of Pandits have also sold off their immovable properties diminishing their chances of return.

The PDP-Congress coalition government in its Common Minimum Programme (CMP) has laid down that government will strive for return of Kashmiri Pandits to their mother land and considers it as an essential ingredient of Kashmiriat.

However efforts by the state government seem to head no where on ground.

The state government has constructed buildings (with two room sets) at some places, which are almost ready to house the migrant Hindu Pandit families. On the ground however Pandits are not ready to move back into these flats and government has been unable to woo them back.

Even valley based Pandits are opposing the proposal.

"They have constructed separate buildings and then want to keep it under security. It seems government is trying to create a Palestine like situation over here by dividing us from the neighbourhood, which we won't allow nor will support," says Sanjay Tikoo, Convener Hindu Welfare Society a society formed by Kashmir Pandits who preferred to stayed in the Valley.

In the township of Mattan in South Kashmir around 500 Hindu families used to live up to 1990 and many Pandit houses still stand intact. Unlike other places Pandits have not sold off their properties at Mattan. Mattan is also known for a famous temple revered by the Hindus. . .

continued . . .

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Kashmir Newz Specials
Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

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