Migrant Kashmiri Pandits vote for ‘homeland’, better facilities : The Tribune India

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Migrant Kashmiri Pandits vote for ‘homeland’, better facilities

Many return dejected after finding names missing from rolls

Migrant Kashmiri Pandits vote for ‘homeland’, better facilities

NC president Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and grandsons Zamir and Zahir after casting their votes in Srinagar. PTI



Arjun Sharma

Jammu, May 13

Thousands of Kashmiri Pandit (KP) migrants who had to leave their homes in the Valley in 1990s to escape from terrorists exercised their franchise on Monday, for return to their homeland and better facilities.

Denied democratic right

I have been living in Jammu for several years. Today, I have been denied the democratic right to vote despite possessing a voter card. Mahesh Kumar, A Migrant KP

KPs living in Jammu, Udhampur and New Delhi voted for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat at the special polling stations established by Election Commission for migrants. A total of 26 stations had been set up — 21 in Jammu, four in New Delhi and one in Udhampur. While long queues of migrants were witnessed in Jammu and Udhampur since morning, many of the voters complained that their names were not in the voting list despite the fact that they possessed voter cards.

KPs who did not find their names in the electoral roll protested at Jagti in Jammu. The polling staff tried to pacify, them after which many of them returned to their homes without voting.

An official said as old data had been used to prepare voter list, many names might have been missing. He added that the polling staff were aware of the issue and migrant voters with a valid card were allowed to vote. There are a total of over 52,100 migrant voters registered from the Srinagar LS.

The migrant voters came out in large numbers and said they were voting with a vision to return to their homes, which they had to leave back in the Valley. Sunita Kaul, a voter, said the governments had done little to allow KPs to return to their ‘homeland’ but “the hope is still alive among those who have seen the turbulent years when a community had to escape from their own homes to remain alive”.

KPs in Udhampur exercised their franchise at Martyr Captain Tushar Mahajan Government School.

#Hindus #Jammu #Kashmir #Kashmiri Pandits


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