‘Separate Homeland’, Protests mark ‘Holocaust Day’ in Jammu

Pandits reiterate demand for separate homeland, setting up of judicial panel

Marking 28 years of their exodus from the Kashmir valley, displaced Pandits today observed ‘Holocaust Day’ by holding protests in different parts of the city and at migrant camps.
Every year, community members gather on January 19 to remember the events of 1990 when the minority community faced threats in the Valley and lakhs were forced to leave their homeland.
Representative organisations today jointly held protest, recollecting the events and the plight of people who continue to live in migrant camps.
“The entire population of Hindus was forced to leave by militants and they continue to live as refugees. The only way for our resettlement is creation of a separate area in the Valley,” said Ravinder Raina, president, All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference, during a demonstration here.
He criticised the successive governments for their failure to announce and implement confidence-building measures, including passing of the Temples and Shrines Bill in the Assembly.
Addressing the gathering, Panun Kashmir president Ashwani Chrungoo said the community could not afford to ignore the scars of history.
“The government should set up a special crimes tribunal in context of atrocities committed against the minorities and book those responsible for the killing of people. For the past over two decades, the families of the victims are awaiting justice,” Chrungoo said.
All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee chairman Vinod Pandit raised the issue of the PM package employees who were being denied their fundamental right to live and work in Kashmir.
Raising the issue of dilapidated condition of temples, he advocated starting of pilgrimage to the Sharda temple in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Demanding justice for terror victims, social activist Shailendra Aima said, “It is a travesty of justice that murderers and arsonists are roaming free even 28 years after committing the crimes. Neither the Centre nor the judicial system has shown any interest in dispensing justice to the exiled Hindus.”
At Jagti, Muthi, Nagrota and Purkhoo camps, people organised meetings to remember the people who were killed by militants. They demanded that the respective deputy commissioners in Kashmir should be made responsible and accountable for the encroachments of religious places in the Valley as per the Migrant Property Act.