March 2017 News

Migrants' Registration Row Reaches PMO

3 March 2017
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Sumit Hakhoo

Jammu: At a time when the registration of fresh migrants from Kashmir is snowballing into a major controversy in the state, non-migrant Pandits living in the Valley have appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protect the minority community. In a detailed letter written to the Prime Minister, a representative organisation of Hindus living in the Valley, Kashmiri Pandits Sangrash Samiti (KPSS), has raised a question mark on the order issued by the PDP-BJP government of restarting the registration of migrants in Jammu. 'The situation in the Valley is deteriorating day by day. The reopening of fresh registration means that the Central and state governments are indirectly accepting and acknowledging that the situation in the Valley is out of control and they are unable to protect citizens who are not supporting the secessionist voices,' the letter, which has been accepted by Prime Minister Office (PMO), reveals. 'At the time of crisis and massacres the then government in 1998 and 2003 was requested to reopen the registration of migration for Pandits so that they could leave the Valley and live a peaceful and safe life, but at that time it was denied then why has the registration been reopened now,' said Sanjay Tikku, president, KPSS. The letter addressed to the Prime Minister says, 'It is humbly prayed that the matter be looked into on priority basis and we left-out Pandit families who are still residing in the Valley be also provided a chance so that we can take a unanimous decision of leaving the Valley and getting ourselves registered as migrants without any pre-conditions so that miniscule minority could live a peaceful and threat-free life outside Kashmir.' Highlighting the agony of the minorities, the letter says that the unrest faced by the Valley in 2008, 2009, 2010 and now in 2016 has created a lot to trust deficit between the majority and minority communities. 'Despite facing discrimination, threats and massacres, 808 families have survived in a hope of better future. The order of reopening of fresh registration of migrants has raised a few questions which needs early answers so that this left-out community members can take a decision about their future,' said Rattan Chaku, general secretary, Samiti. The government census done in December 2009 had revealed that there were just 808 Pandit families, comprising 3,445 members, living in the Valley. Nearly 3.5 lakh Pandits lived in Kashmir till 1989-90.

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