December 2006 News

Pandits to organise rallies

7 December 2006
The Hindu
Special Correspondent

New Delhi: The displaced Kashmiri Pandits will organise protest rallies across the country on Sunday to draw the attention of the Government and the people towards their plight even 17 years after they were driven out of the Valley. The community will seek the status of the internally displaced people. To be initiated by 'Roots in Kashmir,' an initiative of the youth of Kashmir dedicated to raise awareness about the issues and problems faced by the sufferers of terrorism, the aim of the rally is to highlight the plight of Pandits who continue to live in the camps in Jammu and Delhi. It is ironical that so many human rights organisations and even Governments walk that extra step to ensure good living conditions for perpetrators of terror, yet when it comes to the peace-loving citizens these very organisations and even the Government does not bother to improve their living conditions, representatives of the 'Roots in Kashmir' told reporters here on Thursday. The State Government has 'wilfully' encroached the land belonging to various shrines and temples. At the time of their forced exodus, 16,000 members of the community were employed with the Government. Now this number has dwindled to 5,708. This is because the Government is not providing them any jobs while their older folk are retiring from service, they said. The 'Roots in Kashmir' has demanded resettlement of the community, restoration of their places of worship and property in the Valley and greater employment opportunities for them.


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