No plan for Pandit townships in Valley

JAMMU:The Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) has no plans to raise composite townships for displaced Kashmiri migrants (Pandits), as per the Centre’s reply to Jammu-based RTI activist Rohit Choudhary.

No plan for Pandit townships in Valley

A picture from 1990-91 of a Kashmiri Pandit family living in tents in Jammu camp after their migration from valley. File Photo

Arteev Sharma 

Tribune News Service 

Jammu, November 23

The Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) has no plans to raise composite townships for displaced Kashmiri migrants (Pandits), as per the Centre’s reply to Jammu-based RTI activist Rohit Choudhary.  

  The latter had sought to know about a government proposal to carve out separate zones for the KPs for their ‘dignified return and rehabilitation’.

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Of the 62,000 Kashmiri migrant families registered with the government, 41,462 are residing in different parts of Jammu and the remaining 20,000 in the rest of the country, reveal official figures. 

“The reply makes it clear that the MHA has no plans to rehabilitate the Pandits. The move to appoint interlocutors is not meant to address the aspirations of nationalists, but to ‘accommodate’ jihadis and separatists — a meek surrender, indeed,” remarked a disappointed Mahesh Koul, a scholar.

Ajay Chrungoo, chairman, Panun Kashmir, is angry that the Centre’s plans to rehabilitate the KPs have failed to take off. 

“If their representative (Dineshwar Sharma) has come with the briefing that his priority is to prevent Kashmir from turning into a Syria, they have realised the situation is getting out of hand,” he said. 

The PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir had in early January this year claimed it had identified 723 kanals (nearly 100 acres), priced at Rs 374.65 crore, for building composite townships. This followed the Government of India’s approval to constructing 6,000 transit accommodations in the Valley for Kashmiri migrants (Pandits). 

Separatist groups in the state have all along opposed the idea of exclusive zones. 

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