Wednesday, March 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Advani sees Pak hand in massacre
Tribune News Service

Nadimarg, (Shopian) March 25
Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani said here today that a Cabinet Committee would be set up to decide on the future course of action for providing adequate security to non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits in the valley.

Addressing a group of angry Kashmiri Hindus here this afternoon, following his meeting with the kith and kin of those killed in yesterday’s massacre, Mr Advani said that justice had not been done to the community members so far.

Mr Advani, after over 90 minutes hearing to the agony of kith and kin and representatives of the minority community, blamed the neighbouring country for such incidents. He claimed that the massacre was a ploy of these forces from across the border to force the remaining Kashmiri Pandits for migration. This, he said, would not be allowed, while the government was planning to facilitate the return of migrant Kashmiri Pandits from other parts of the country to selected pockets in the valley. Nearly 20,000 Kashmiri Pandits stayed back when more than two lakh Pandits migrated from the valley to other parts of the country with the eruption of militancy early in 1990.

The Deputy Prime Minister was accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Governor G.C. Saxena, National Conference president, and former Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Omar Abdullah, and PDP vice-president, Ms Mehbooba Mufti. He had also talks with the senior police and security forces officers for an on the spot assessment of the situation.

Mr Advani accompanied by other senior government functionaries told the kith and kin of the victims that the government would look into the lapses and it was the duty of the government to provide fool-proof security to the minority community members. He was informed that the repeated requests of the Pandits in the village to the police and civil administration officials for providing security in view of a threat perception, proved futile. Only the SHO of Zainpora police station had visited the police post in the village on Sunday, while the Pandits were massacred the same night. The Pandits demanded change of the police and civil administration responsible for the massacre.

A large number of the Hindu community members gathered in this hamlet, 70 km south of Srinagar, expressed serious concern over the failure of the police and administration in providing adequate security cover. They were raising slogans “we want migration” from the valley and would return only when all migrants returned to the valley with dignity, without any threat to their lives.

Mr Advani assured them that the central government would do its best possible in consultation with the state government. He said that all aspects of the situation would be considered and necessary measures would be taken at the earliest possible.

Agencies add: Mr Advani said the government would provide all facilities for the migration of Pandits who wanted to move to safer places.

“Hand of our neighbour was behind every act of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and in rest of the country”, Mr Advani said.

Mr Advani said “if anyone wants to leave, the state government will provide all help but this is what the enemy wants. No one would be forced to stay against his wishes”.

The Deputy Prime Minister said he was disappointed over the US approach in not putting enough pressure on Pakistan to stop cross border terrorism as it did in the case of Taliban.

The Deputy Prime Minister said in the past five years several representatives of Pandits met him and asked how long they would remain refugees in their own country. My response invariably was that the state and central governments were making every effort to bring normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

Normalcy does not mean only violence free Jammu and Kashmir but also resettlement of Pandits in the state, he said.



Advani’s no to central rule in J&K

Srinagar, March 25
Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani today rejected demands for central rule in Jammu and Kashmir following the Nadimarg massacre, saying the NDA government was opposed to the measure.

The NDA Government was against imposing central rule in states and it should be promulgated only in “extreme circumstances”, he told reporters here after visiting Nadimarg where 24 Kashmiri Pandits were massacred yesterday.

Mr Advani said this when a reporter drew his attention to the demand for central rule in J and K made by some BJP leaders and others. He said the demand was made out of anguish and to express anger over the massacre of innocent persons. PTI


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