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Kashmir India’s crown, centre should help in development: Sayeed

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on Thursday said Kashmir is India’s crown and the central government should help in make it prosperous.

“Kashmir is India’s crown and there is no other way to look after it than paying attention towards it and helping its overall progress and development,” Sayeed said here.

He was speaking at the flagging-off ceremony of four new trains by Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu.

Sayeed said it was his desire to see Kashmir gets connected with national railway network.

“Railway is an important mode of integration and it is my dream to see rail from here going directly to Delhi. It will not only facilitate travel but help in bridging emotional gaps as well,” the chief minister said.

Sayeed also said the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, which is the only surface link of landlocked valley with outside, gets blocked usually due to bad weather and rail will provide alternate mode of connecting the state with rest of the country.

“There will be hassles, but you will have to do it and a structured dialogue with state’s and centre’s representatives can sort out any hiccups in connecting the rail network here with national capital,” he said referring to Prabhu.

“If we succeed in connecting Kashmir with Delhi through railways, it will be a turning point in the history of the country and the state.”

He said the railway people have worked in the state in “most hard and difficult times”. “I know that and I appreciate that.”

The chief minister said railway can become an important medium in boosting economy of the state. “Our Fruit industry and handicrafts can reach to outside state easily. We can have local ethnic products which can find their way in national and even global market.”

“We can have Rajasthan style ‘Palace on Wheels’ here, after all Kashmir is a paradise and proper rail network can attract more and more tourists in the state and generate more employment opportunities in tourism and railways,” he said.

Sayeed also asked the central government to provide jobs to those left-out people whose land has come under railway track in the state.

(IANS)

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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.

Also Read: Jammu And Kashmir’s Ad Film Wins Gold At IAA Awards

“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)