Jammu & Kashmir

Kashmiri Pandit Body demands restoration of Article 370, Statehood

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Srinagar: A Kashmiri Pandit Body called Reconcilation, Relief, and Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits on Monday demanded that the Indian Government should restore the pre-August status that the (now erstwhile) state of Jammu and Kashmir had.

Earlier in August last year, the Government of India abrogated Article 370 and introduced the Reorganization Act that bifurcated the state into two union territories—Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

“We demand immediate restoration of statehood and special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Constitution ensures the right to equality that extends to individuals, communities, religions, regions, and all social and political institutions. The right to equality ensures non-discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, region, or any other social and political sub-categories. Never before a state has been downgraded. This is not done in a democracy. One can’t have a military solution to a political situation and can’t go to war with their own people,” said Satish Mahaldar, Chairman of migrant Kashmiri Pandits’ organisation called Reconciliation, Relief, and Rehabilitation in a statement.

The statement added that the special provisions should be made to safeguard the interest and aspirations of the backward regions, to protect the cultural and economic interests of the people, safeguard the minorities and deal with the disturbed law and order in some parts of the state.

The group has also pointed out that J&K wasn’t the only state with special status with other states too enjoying special category status, an India Today report read.

Earlier in May this year, Satish had spoken in favour of domicile law.

“We welcome the new domicile law since all the sons and daughters of the soil, who had left or were forced to leave their homeland from 1931 onwards, will now be the beneficiaries,” quoting Satish, an online news portal called Organiser reported.

In February this year, Satish Mahaldar was detained by the Kashmir Police and asked to return to New Delhi the same day he arrived in Srinagar for the launch of ‘Saath Do’, “an initiative aimed at promoting peace,” with Bollywood singer Saim Bhat, The Print report read. 


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