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Hindu Temples under Threat: Kashmiri Pandits urge Centre to protect Temples in valley

The concerns of the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community seem to have been heightened by the disturbances that ensued in the valley following the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani

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A gathering of Kashmiri Pandits (1903). Image source: oldkashmirimages.blogspot.com
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  • Kashmiri Pandits have urged the centre to provide security to all Hindu temples and shrines in the Kashmir valley
  • The appeal was made by a Jammu-based organisation that manages the affairs of Zeashta Devi Mandir at Zeathyar in Srinagar
  • Zeashta Devi Mandir has become a refuge for the Pandits who take shelter in the temple whenever there is unrest in the region

Srinagar, July 23, 2016: In the wake of the ongoing turmoil in Kashmir, when the curfew is continuing for the 14th day, the Kashmiri Pandits have urged the centre to provide security to Hindu temples and religious places in the Kashmir valley.

The appeal was made by a Jammu-based organisation that manages the affairs of Zeashta Devi Mandir at Zeathyar in Srinagar. “We implore the Union government to provide security cover of central security forces to all the religious places and temples across the Kashmir Valley to protect them from attacks by the undesirable and anti-national elements,” Zeashta Devi Prabandakh Committee President, Bharat Bhushan Bhat said to World Hindu News.

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Bhat added that Zeashta Devi Mandir has become a refuge for the Pandits who take shelter in the temple whenever there is unrest in the region.

Kashmiri Pandits Image Source: Wikipedia
Kashmiri Pandits. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The concerns of the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community seem to have been heightened by the disturbances that ensued in the valley following the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani. Numerous incidents of vandalization and desecration of Hindu temples by Muslim miscreants have added to their woes. These include the recent attack on Mata Ragniya temple in Loktipura (Anantnag District) and Mata Trisupsundri temple Devsar (Kulgam District) in Kashmir, and an Aap Shambu Temple in Roop Nagar, Jammu.

Earlier this month, over 400 Kashmiri Pandits had also taken out a protest march condemning the BJP-PDP government for being unable to protect their shrines.

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“Government should be proactive in dealing with such incidents if it has to send a positive signal among the Kashmiri Pandit community,” Bhat told the World Hindu News.

According to the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), a valley-based Kashmiri Pandit organisation, 887 temples and religious places/shrines existed before 1990. 738 of them were destroyed by 1995, reported Newslaundry.com.

– by Ashee Sharma of NewsGram

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The Plight Of Kashmir’s Pandits

The Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora said a memorandum signed by thousands of Kashmiri Pandits has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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Kashmiri Pandits
Plight of Kashmiri Pandits continues: Community members. Flickr

Dozens of Kashmiri Pandits on Friday paid homage to civilians, Army men and their community members killed since 1989 and said the plight of Pandits still continues.

For 28 years, the Kashmiri Pandit community has been observing September 14 as ‘Martyrs’ Day-Balidan Diwas’ at B.K. Ganjoo memorial park in Central Delhi.

United Kingdom-based activist Shafalica Bhan Kotwal who has been fighting for the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits, said: “There is no major change in the lives of Kashmir Pandits, their plight still continues despite Bharatiya Janata Party being in power.

Kashmiri pandits
Kashmir. Pixabay

“Most of them were thrown out of their homes. They are living in pathetic conditions in shelter homes with no basic facilities.”

She said the community was once accustomed to living in minus 17 degrees Celsius. “Their families are now living in the hostile Jammu weather,” she added.

The son of Kasmiri Pandits’ leader Tika Lal Taploo, Ashutosh Taploo, was at the meeting. He said: “My father was killed not just because he was a Pandit..because he was looked as the Hindu community leader.”

Kashmiri Pandits
Kashmiri Hindus protest renaming of Shankaracharya Hill. Flickr

Taploo said his father was the first Pandit to have fallen to terrorist bullets in the Valley.

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“Till today no government has brought any major change in Pandits’ lives, the atrocities we experienced and psychological trauma we suffered is fresh” he said.

In a statement calling for justice to “victims of terrorism,” the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora said a memorandum signed by thousands of Kashmiri Pandits has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted to Union Minister Hansraj Ahir. (IANS)