October 2003 News

Kashmiri Pandits reject return formula

9 October 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu: Rejecting the proposed return move to the clusters in Khir Bhavani (Tulmulla) and Mattan the Kashmiri Pandits today held the State Government responsible for their all miseries. Speaking at a function on community’s response to return formula of the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed Government here this evening, the speaker after speaker thundered at coalition Government for its anti KP policies. The function which was organized by the Youngs India a social voluntary organization in collaboration with J&K Vichar Manch said the Government was misleading the Pandits on the name of healing touch and return formula. R K Mattoo, president Kashmir Samiti Bangalore was the chief guest on the occasion. He, while highlighting the role of Bangalore Samiti appealed the displaced people to come on a single platform and launch a decisive battle for the solution of their genuine demands. Mr Mattoo said the KPs have suffered a lot over 14 years of turmoil and the onus now lies with the youth to come forward and give a right direction to the community at this critical juncture. He said our culture has totally eroded over these years and this was the greatest loss to the community. 'The community should not give an impression that we are a fragmented lot', he added while appealing the different sections of the KPs to come on a single platform. Expressing serious concern over the discretion of the religious places in Kashmir he said the community should file a litigation in the court and seek a reply from the Government. Mr Ajay Bharti, All India general secretary, J&K Vichar Manch said the process of Islamisation started in Kashmir since 1931 and from that day the trouble for Pandits started in Valley. Terming the healing touch a killing touch for the Pandits, he said the community people who were killed in terrorism were not given any benefit under this policy and no attention has been paid to renovate the temples and shrines which were damaged in Kashmir. Dr Rajinder Koul, while turning tables on the Government regretted that the Kashmiri Pandits the real victims of terrorism and Islamic Jehad have been totally ignored in implementing the healing touch policy. He said the exodus of the community was a well planned move of Islamic terrorists. He did not absolve the political parties like NC, PDP and Congress of the present plight of the displaced people. Strongly advocating for the abrogation of Article 370, he said giving special status to J&K in Constitution was the cause of all problems. Smelling a rat in Government’s return formula he said how can the community trust them when this Government has not even enhanced the relief for which the announcement was twice made by the Prime Minister. Hira Lal Bhat of J&K Vichar Manch, while rejecting the return formula blamed the Government for misleading the community in this regard. He said the development of religious places was a national tourism policy under which the proposal for the historical Mattan and Khirbhavani Town was also mooted. But the Government was relating it to the Pandits return. He said earlier the terrorists were getting money form Pakistan only but under the healing touch policy they now receive the money from Government also. Warning the Government he urged it not to link the day today sustenance of the community to return. Pir Panchal, chief Ramesh Kashmiri said the Government by its policies was creating a confusion among the community. He urged the Chief Minister to clear his policies viz a viz Pandits and wanted to know the reasons for naming Park belonging to Historic Mattan Temple on the name of Shah- e-Hamdan. He said the community’s hopes have totally been belied in this Government as despite making the announcements twice the Pandits were deprived of cash relief benefits. K K Raina a social activist urged the community to come under one umberilla instead of talking in different tune. He warned 'we are losing Kashmir' and there is immediate need for the unity among the community. Manmohan Thaploo an RSS ideologue said the community can not trust the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed Government as it has a very bitter experience of of 1986 riots. He termed the healing touch formula only a vote bank policy of the PDP. O N Kothari, a social activist wanted to know why the probe has not been ordered in discretion and dismantling of religious places in Kashmir as was done in Babri Masjid demolition Bhushan Lal Bhat of the Manch warned Government for misleading the community on the name of return and said with the return of ten families the problem of over four lakh Pandits will not be solved. The programme was compered by chairman Youngs India, Vivek Raina. He also presented the vote of thanks.


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