13 safe zones identified for Pandits in Kashmir
10 April 2001
The Asian Age
Bashir Ahmad Soffi
Anantnag: The authorities have identified 13 “safe zones” in this district for resettlement of 780 Kashmiri Pandit families who had migrated to different parts of the country in 1990. Talking to reporters, deputy commissioner, Anantnag, G.A. Peer said after a detailed survey, 13 zones were declared safe where the Kashmiri pandit families who were interested to return back could resettle. He said a team of officers representing different departments and security agencies during their survey had extensive meetings with the local Muslim population who are keen to see their Pandit brethren back. When asked if the areas identified by the authorities were totally for pandits, he replied in negative and added that the pandits were in majority in these areas before they migrated to other parts of the country. “We do not want to keep the pandits, who are interested to return back, in isolation since they have to work and live in Kashmir with everyone,” he said. “We wanted that they should live and work together with their Muslim neighbours so that they do not feel that they are in jails,” Mr Peer added.