Kashmiri Pandits Demand Abrogation Of Article 370

22 May 2014
Business Standard

Jammu: With the Narendra Modi government set to take charge at the Centre, a prominent Kashmiri Pandits organisation today demanded abrogation of Article 370 to allow 'free flow' of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir. Addressing a meeting here, Panun Kashmir chief Ashwani Chrungoo said KPs are enthused over the new government taking charge at the centre. 'Displaced Kashmiri Pandits want complete Indian ethos and presence in Kashmir. We want free flow of the Indian constitution in J-K without the constraints of Article 370. 'The change of government at the Centre has generated tremendous enthusiasm and hope among the people of the country. The displaced community of Kashmiri Pandits see this change as a catalyst of a paradigm shift in the Centre's thinking on Kashmir,' he said. The BJP in its election manifesto had reiterated its stand on Article 370, saying it would discuss with all stakeholders for abrogation of this article, besides ensuring the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the land of their ancestors with full dignity, security and assured livelihood. Chrungoo lauded the 137th and 179th reports of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for generating an increased awareness in the Home Ministry about the issues of KPs. He said the new government needs to take adequate economic and other measures to bolster the confidence of the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community. 'Those who are harping on the slogan of resolution of Kashmir need to be separated from the issues of the Kashmiri Pandits,' Chrungoo said, adding that 'Pakistani salience in the affairs of Kashmir and its support to the terror machinery has to end completely'. Panun Kashmir national spokesperson Virender Raina said that in the days to come, the organisation would remain constructively engaged with the nationalist forces in the state and would ensure that KP issues take centre stage. 'There is also a need to bring the issues of all Hindu minorities who are sufferers in the higher reaches of Jammu region including the refugees to a permanent solution'.