Kashmiri Pandits protest outside Raj Bhawan on 22nd ‘Holocaust Day’
From Khajuria S Kant in Jammu
Twenty-two years have gone, the successive State and Central Governments have failed to create conducive atmosphere for the return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland Kashmir Valley. Though, the Valley is part of India, Kashmir today is without Kashmiri Pandits, who are forced to live in appalling conditions as refugees in their own country.
Hundreds of displaced Kashmiri Hindus under the banner of different organisations demonstrated outside Jammu & Kashmir Governor residence on Holocaust Day in the winter capital of the state on January 19. The protestors wearing black badges and carrying placards in their hands raised slogans against terrorism and Government’s pro-separatist policies.
The Joint Forum of Kashmiri Pandit Organisations held the demonstration outside Raj Bhawan to mark the beginning of the mass exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir. They recalled the events of January 19, 1990 that set the process of exodus in motion after the separatists warned the community to leave the Valley within 24 hours. They said the government of the state as well as Centre, which watched like a mute spectator to this entire episode, is now giving clean chit to separatists and Jehadi forces that waged a war to India.
The demonstrators were addressed by leaders of the Joint Forum of Pandit Organisations. Speaking on the occasion, organisation head Ashwani Chrungoo said the observance of the day depicts the holocaust and the forced exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley. “Pandits can never forget the horrors of January 19, 1990 when they were subjected to terror aimed at their ethnic cleansing from the Valley,” he added. The Kashmiri Pandits are victims of genocide, the fact that has been acknowledged by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
Shri HL Chatta said it is a matter of pleasure that the younger generation is taking lot of interest in observance of important historical days of the community in exile. He urged the younger generation to take the battle for the reclamation of homeland forward. The Pandits have experienced seven exoduses and can’t be subjected to experimentation any more, he added.