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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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Continuous Lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir Having Big Impact on Apple Farming in Valley

The twin districts of Shopian and Kulgam in south Kashmir are the major apple growing centres where people are anxious

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Apple Farming, Lockdown, Jammu
With the harvesting season just round the corner, Kashmiri apple growers are a worried lot. Pixabay

Continuous lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir is having a big impact on apple farming in the Valley. With the harvesting season just round the corner, Kashmiri apple growers are a worried lot.

The twin districts of Shopian and Kulgam in south Kashmir are the major apple growing centres where people are anxious and not sure as to what lies in store.

Ghulam Mohammad looks at the apples in his orchard with a sense of uncertainty. The apples will ripe in a week’s time, but his labour force is gone after the mass exodus of non-Kashmiris from the Valley following government advisory. He says he is staring at a massive loss this year.

“It looks very unlikely that we will be able to meet our target under the prevailing conditions. I am not a stone pelter… What is my fault, why am I made to suffer,” asked Muzaffar Ahmad, an apple grower in Anantnag in south Kashmir, voicing similar concerns.

Apple Farming, Lockdown, Jammu
Continuous lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir is having a big impact on apple farming in the Valley. Pixabay

The impact of the shutdown is growing by the day, leaving the apple growers worried.

The people in Hallmolla area of Anantnag, famous for manufacturing cricket bats, echoed

similar sentiments. The bat makers say there are no takers for the willows at the moment.

Also Read- Onam Celebrations in Kerala to Be a Low Key Affair as State Recovering from Devastating Floods

“Our business is totally dependent on tourists and yatris. With almost zero visitors in Kashmir now, our business has plunged to almost zero. Our labourers have gone, while untimely rains have made things worse for us,” said Gul Javed, a bat manufacturer. (IANS)