Pandits fear ‘another migration’ post Article 370 abrogation

SRINAGAR: In the interior lanes of the congested Barbarshah locality, Kashmiri Pandit leader Sanjay Tickoo, in his mid-fifties, is worried over the developments in the wake of scrapping of Article 370 and believes the move would not only hit the return of Kashmiri Pandits, but there is now a “possibility of another migration”.

editorial@tribune.com

Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 18

In the interior lanes of the congested Barbarshah locality, Kashmiri Pandit leader Sanjay Tickoo, in his mid-fifties, is worried over the developments in the wake of scrapping of Article 370 and believes the move would not only hit the return of Kashmiri Pandits, but there is now a “possibility of another migration”.

“I think another migration will happen now,” said Tickoo, president of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), an apex body of the non-migrant Pandits.

“After five years, you will not find Sanjay Tickoo here. I and my father have faced the situation for the past three decades. What I have faced I don’t want my child to face the same.”

There are 808 Kashmiri Pandit families in the Valley, who live in 292 locations in different parts of Kashmir.

“The situation (at present) is worse than the 1990s,” he laments.In a conversation with The Tribune, Tickoo explains that in the 1990s — when Pandits migrated out of the Valley — they knew that they were the first targets of militants, along with politicians.

“Now, the situation is worse and non-migrants will always be the target and we will become scapegoats,” he said.

He said the abrogation of the special status would certainly impact the return of Pandits to the Valley.

“What is the common man thinking about India and Kashmiri Pandits now? In the past, we had sympathy of locals. Now, that sympathy is over because of our own mistakes. In Jammu, some Kashmir Pandits celebrated the scrapping of Article 370. Some say Article 370 had been abrogated by the Pandits and not by the BJP government,” he said, adding that the decision had “deepened the communal divide.”

Tickoo said it was wrong to abrogate the special status, which had already been eroded over a period of time.

“The move will communalise the situation. The abrogation of Article 370 will not end militancy but prolong it for another 100 years. The reaction is coming and that is why we are worried,” he said.

Tickoo said a few families from south Kashmir’s Anantnag had moved out. “A few families in Ganderbal, who had been living there for the past three decades, have also been moved out by the police.These families lived just five km from Wandhama, where a massacre took place in 1998. We want to know why the police asked them to shift,” Tickoo said.

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