Kashmiri Pandits observe black day

We want to live with local Muslims, not in separate clusters: APMCC


Srinagar, Jan 19: All parties Migrants Coordination Committee (APMCC) staged a protest here on Monday to commemorate 25 years of migration of the Pandit community.
“The demand of APMCC is that white paper should be issued by the state and central government on the actions taken to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits,” said Vinod Pandit, Chairman of AMPCC.
“Today is our Black Day,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Advocate Arun Kandroo and Ravinder Koul, General Secretaries AMPCC, said, “We want our homes back.”
Other prominent activists included Rakesh Pandita, Advocate Ramneek Sharma, Baby Bhat and Somnath Saraf.
“We want to live amidst local Muslims and not in separate clusters,” said Somnath Saraf.”
Pardeep Singh Bali adds from Jammu: The displaced Kashmiri Pandits today urged the Central government to initiate a serious dialogue with the community leadership over the issue of their resettlement in the Kashmir Valley.
Speaking at a function here, Panun Kashmir president Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo said that the community has ‘first and natural right’ over the territory of Kashmir.
He said, “We would return only when our geo-political aspirations are fulfilled through political and constitutional means.”
“We have lots of expectations from the central government and it is the best time for Centre to find final and onetime resettlement of the displaced community. Genocide against Kashmiri Pandits was used as a strong weapon to achieve ethnic cleansing by fundamentalists and terrorists in Kashmir valley.”
Former CM Omar Abdullah today tweeted: “25 years is a lifetime. If there is a Ghar Wapasi the BJP & the rest of us should really be focusing on, it is this one.”
“Kashmiri Pandits were unnecessarily forced to leave the valley by Jagmohan. Hindus & Muslims lived together for centuries,” tweeted Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.

PTI adds from New Delhi:
Distressed over the long wait of 25 years to go back home, displaced Kashmiri Pandits today staged a protest here demanding immediate steps for their rehabilitation and accused both state and central governments of doing nothing to facilitate their return to the Valley.
Wearing black badges and bands as a mark of the protest at Jantar Mantar, the Kashmiri Pandits also asked the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government to bring a ‘white paper’ on what they have done so far for their rehabilitation.
The Pandits also burnt posters of Pakistani flag and raised slogans against that country.
The community had yesterday resolved not to hold weddings or any other family celebrations on two days of the calendar — September 14 and January 19 — as part of their efforts to “keep alive” the struggle for “homeland”.



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