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Kashmiri Pandits cheated again? Govt to give only 50 acres of the promised 1500 acres land for rehabilitation

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Image: Kashmir Observer
Image: Kashmir Observer
Image: Kashmir Observer

By Ishan Kukreti

The Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led government in Jammu and Kashmir has back tracked from its promise of giving 1500 acres of land for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits. Now, a mere 50 acres of land will be available for their resettling in the Valley.

According to BJP spokesperson Sanjay Kaul, “J&K Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has reduced  the land size for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits form 1500 acres to  mere 50 acres.”

Speaking to NewsGram, Kaul said, “A rally will be organised today at Jantar Mantar at 10 am by Kashmiri Pandits to raise a voice against government’s indifference towards Pandits.” He said that around 5,000 people will participate to give the sticky political issue of homeland in the valley a solid push.

“It’s a show of strength for the cause of homeland for Kashmiri Pandits. The aim of the rally is to send a message that the Pandits are united and pressurize the government to take some concrete steps towards resolving a 25 year old problem,” the BJP spokesperson said.

Naim Akhtar, spokesperson for the PDP, could not be contacted for comments, while PDP’s Rangeel Singh declined to talk about the issue.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Foreign Ministry on Thursday had claimed that the Indian government’s plan to resettle Kashmiri Pandits was a ploy to change the demography of the “only Muslim state” of India.

“Any effort to create special dedicated townships or zones, or any other step to alter the demographic make-up of Jammu and Kashmir, is in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions,” spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan, Tasneem Aslam had said.

The statement’s repercussion was seen in the state as Pakistani flags were waved in Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s rally at Tral on Friday. Jammu too witnessed agitation as people burnt effigies of Geelani and raised slogans against the separatists.

 

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BJP Hopeful of Getting its “First Chief Minister” in Jammu and Kashmir

Meanwhile, the BJP which shared power in the state with the PDP for three years from 2015 to 2018, did not get the top post

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BJP, Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir has seen several Chief Ministers from Congress, National Conference and the People's Democratic Party (PDP). Flickr

The BJP is hopeful of getting its “first Chief Minister” in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 from the state two months ago, and the planned delimitation of the Assembly constituencies.

In an interview to IANS, Jammu and Kashmir Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Ravinder Raina said, “Jammu and Kashmir is a unit. And as President of BJP here, I am confident that we will have a BJP Chief Minister in Jammu and Kashmir very soon.”

Jammu and Kashmir has seen several Chief Ministers from Congress, National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Meanwhile, the BJP which shared power in the state with the PDP for three years from 2015 to 2018, did not get the top post and had to accept the post of Deputy Chief Minister.

BJP, Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir
In an interview to IANS, Jammu and Kashmir Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Ravinder Raina said, Jammu and Kashmir is a unit. Flickr

When asked about the planned delimitation of constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, Raina said, “The Election Commission will take a final call on the delimitation of the Assembly constituencies here.”

Raina said the poll panel will constitute a commission, which will be headed by either a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge.

The BJP leader pointed out that the commission which will be constituted for the delimitation process will follow all the standard prodecures.

The government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 and also bifurcated the state into two union territories.

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Following the revocation of Article 370, the government has enforced a massive clampdown on communication and internet services in the state and deployed heavy security presence.

To a question over the clampdown for 60 days in the state, the state BJP chief said, “Soon after the abrogation of Article 370 the mobile connectivity and internet facility was suspended here.

“And now you are witnessing that the mobile connectivity and Wi-fi services are given a free hand and people are using those facilities here,” Raina said pointing towards the Wi-fi hotspots and connections provided to the citizens in Jammu.

Pointing towards the Kashmir valley, where only landlines connections and BSNL mobile networks are operating, he said, “In Kashmir valley too, the communication systems whether it is landline connections or BSNL mobile numbers are being operated and are given access.”

BJP, Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir
And as President of BJP here, I am confident that we will have a BJP Chief Minister in Jammu and Kashmir very soon. Pixabay

“But there are still apprehensions that Pakistani agents may use the internet facilities to defame and to create mess and try to instigate the youth of the country,” he said on the internet suspension in Srinagar and other districts in the Kashmir valley.

Raina further said that Pakistani elements can instigate the youth and spread venom in the society and that is why preventive measures have been taken. “But soon you shall find all internet facilities will be opened and will be given free access,” he said.

India has on several occasions accused Pakistan of sponsoring terror and allowing its land to be used for terror activities. In recent days, the Indian Army and security forces have foiled terrorists’ attempts to enter Indian territory from the Pakistan side.

On India’s semi-high speed and feature-rich Vande Bharat Express arriving in Jammu from Delhi, he said, “We are thankful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for providing the best train that is Vande Bharat Express to Jammu and Kashmir after the revocation of Article 370.

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He said “Vande Bharat Express will provide all sorts of relief to passengers that we have seen at the overcrowded railway stations of Jammu Tawi, Katra and Udhampur. It is a big gift for the people of Kashmir,” Raina added. (IANS)