‘GoI planning to create 3 settlements for Kashmiri Pandits in Valley’
Hurriyat (G) chairman, Syed Ali Geelani Sunday rejected the reports of Al-Qaida’s call for ‘Kashmir Jihad’ as mere speculation propagated by the government. He said there was no scope for Al-Qaida and Taliban to operate in Kashmir.
“Ours is a local and indigenous struggle so the government wants to kill our youth and defame our sacred struggle in the name of Al Qaida. That is why they are spreading such reports,” Geelani said.
Accusing BJP-led government of trying to divide Jammu and Kashmir on religious lines, he claimed that it was planning to create three new towns for settlement of Kashmiri Pandits in the valley.
Geelani said the Centre has ordered state government to locate 16800 kanals of land for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in three different locations in the valley. He said the three towns will come up in South, Central and North Kashmir and each town will comprise of 5600 kanal land in which 75000 to one lakh Kashmiri Pandits will be accommodated.
“Each town will have 2 medical colleges, 2 engineering colleges, 4 police station and 12 schools. All the essential commodities will be available within the town,” Geelani said while addressing a seminar titled “Moujoodah Surat-i-Hall kay Taqazay” (Demands of Present Situation) at his residence.
He said the directions were passed to the state government during the recent meeting between Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“As per our information, in this meeting, Centre ordered state government to prepare ground for return of Kashmir Pandits to Valley and locate three different locations with land of around 16800 kanals.”
Geelani said Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) was trying to create State within the state. “It is clear now that BJP wants to divide Kashmir into two parts on the basis of religion. They want to create another Israel and Palestine here.”
He said the separate homeland for Kashmiri Pandits in valley will lead to communal tension between the two sects.
“BJP is purposely trying to provoke communal hatred between the two communities in Kashmir. They are trying to create 1947 situation in Kashmir in which 5 lakh Muslims were brutally murdered and other one lakh forced to migrate from Jammu. “Hurriyat (G) will try to create a national consensus against these policies of the Indian government and in this respect we will start consultation with pro-freedom and religious organizations in near future.”
He said it was a well planned strategy of New Delhi to change the demography of J&K. “We will mobilize public opinion over the issue.”
Geelani, however, insisted that he was not against return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in Valley.
“I vouch for the safe return of Kashmiri pandits. There is no opposition for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits. They are part of our society and we want them to return and live along side their Muslim neighbours but creating separate settlements in the name of Pandits is unacceptable.”
Geelani said the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits was a well planned strategy drafted by then Governor of J&K Jagmohan “in order to suppress the uprising in Valley”.
“He (Jagmohan) never thought that the resistance movement would survive till today. Their strategy was to shift pandits to Jammu for few months till they crush the resistance movement in Kashmir and then call them back. However, there plans failed and we are still on our feet, fighting for the right to self-determination.”
Condemning the killings of Kashmiri Pandits, Geelani said, “219 of Kashmiri pandits lost their lives during the turmoil. We feel sorry for them; it shouldn’t have happened and we have always condemned it.”
Geelani said the decision like creation of Shrine Boards, separate homeland for Pandits, illegal occupation of land by army, presence of outside labourers in Kashmir are all policies of Indian agencies “to squeeze Kashmir movement in a corner”.
Rejecting the plans of government to settle Pakistani refugees in J&K, Geelani said Modi government wants to change the demography of Kashmir.
“He (Modi) wants to convert the Muslim majority in J&K into the minorities by working on the plans of RSS.”
Geelani urged people to boycott the upcoming assembly elections.
“India is using it as a tool to show the world that all is well in Kashmir. I appeal all Kashmiri people to boycott assembly elections to send a strong message across that elections are irrelevant in Kashmir and people of Kashmir don’t relate with it.”
Others who spoke on the occasion included Mohammad Ashraf Sehraie, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom, Ghulam Nabi Sumji, Dr. Sheikh Showkat, Abdul Majeed Zargar, Dr Javed Iqbal, Anwar Asahai and Ayaz Akbar.