New Delhi, July 20 (KMS): Migrant Kashmiri Pandits, while rejecting Indian government’s plan to settle them in separate colonies in occupied Kashmir, have demanded their settlement in six districts across the Kashmir valley.

The demand was made by a seven-member delegation led by Satish Mahaldar during its meetings with Indian Minister of State for Home, G K Reddy, and the BJP’s Vice President and in-charge of Kashmir affairs, Avinash Rai Khanna, in New Delhi.

The delegation submitted a detailed memorandum to Reddy and Khanna with a primary focus on allowing the families to settle down in six districts of Kashmir instead of setting up separate colonies for them.

“We met the Minister of State for Home in New Delhi and discussed our proposal for the safe return to Kashmir. The meeting lasted for almost an hour and we told him that Kashmiri Pandits yearn to return to their homeland after almost three decades,” said Satish Mahaldar.

We also apprised the minister of our detailed meetings with the Hurriyat forum Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and his support to facilitate smooth return of Kashmiri Pandits, he added.

Satish Mahaldar, a Kashmiri Pandit settled in New Delhi for the past almost three decades, said that the delegation conveyed to the minister that 419 families are willing to return to Kashmir and live again with their Muslim brethren.

He said the delegation opposed separate townships and colonies as part of the return package. “We made it clear that we are not ready to live in separate colonies,” Mahaldar said.

He said in the detailed memorandum submitted by them, it has been made clear that the families would like to settle down in districts of Kashmir that include Srinagar, Islamabad, Baramulla, Sopore, Budgam, Kupwara and Ganderbal.

The KP delegation has also submitted the similar memorandums to BJP’s vice president, Avinash Rai Khanna, and India’s interlocutor on Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma.

It is to mention here that India had started to implement its plan of dividing the territory on communal lines by setting up separate colonies for migrant Hindu Pandits in the Kashmir valley. The State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik has initiated the process to start the construction of transit camps with 1,680 flats in different districts of the Valley.


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