Jammu & Kashmir

Migrant Kashmiri Pandits demand ban on sale of JK land to outsiders

Srinagar: Migrant Kashmiri Pandits on Thursday demanded a ban on the sale of land in Jammu and Kashmir to outsiders till the community is rehabilitated in Kashmir.

In a statement, Satish Ambardar, chairman of Reconciliation, Return and Rehabilitation, an organisation of migrant Pandits said that Government of India notified land law for Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, paving the way for any citizen of India to buy land in JK.

The chairman said that Kashmiri Pandits feel “betrayed” and from last 31 years, they have been waiting for return and rehabilitation in their land of origin.

“Without getting us rehabilitated in our land, the Government of India has thrown open the Kashmir land for sale,” the chairman asked in the statement.

“The successive governments of India and state failed to protect its own people in the valley. The governments remained a mute spectator to what happened to the community. The forced exodus took a heavy toll on the community. Kashmiri Pandits were killed, their properties looted, burnt, temples desecrated, many women kidnapped, gang-raped and murdered,” he said.

The statement added that “forced exodus” has cut them from their roots, thus affecting their unique religious, cultural and traditional identity.

“Today, we feel this government has completely betrayed us. If the earlier ones did nothing to help us get our land back in Kashmir, this government has made sure that we remain in exile forever,” he said.

“The exodus has scattered the community and after this order the community will always remain scattered, lose its ethnicity and die a slow death. A community which has a 5,000-year history in Kashmir is finally being slowly poisoned by the powers that are there,” the statement mentioned.

The statement said that constitution has ensured singularity in plurality, diversity in unity and safeguarding of minorities, but the successive governments have failed to protect the ethnicity of the minority in Kashmir.

This order of the Government of India sounds like a “death knell” for the KP community. It seems that JK has been put up for sale. The rich and powerful will buy lands and take over the place whereas the original aborigines will continue to live in exile, it said.

“We fear that land sharks will usurp our lands, including our temples, shrines and other KP institutions. We demand that there should be an immediate ban on the sale of any kind of land until the Kashmiri Pandit community is rehabilitated. We demand that those 419 families be rehabilitated, who a year ago had given in writing to India’s Ministry of Home Affairs that they want to return. We request all parliamentarians to kindly come forward and help to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandit refugees in Kashmir” the statement added.


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