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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Image courtesy: PTI Photo
  • Mehbooba Mufti expressed concerns that the current environment in Kashmir Valley is not apt for Kashmiri Pandits
  • Ashok Kumar feels establishing composite colonies will help the situation
  • An incident of stone pelting Saturday night further discouraged pandits to return home

On Sunday, June 12, the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti made a statement saying the current environment in the Kashmiri Valley is not safe for the return of Kashmiri Pandits back to their hometown, and there is a need to inspire confidence and trust among them for their permanent return to the Valley.

Although they have expressed hope to return home someday, more and more pandits are getting wary of their stay in the Valley in wake of the militancy and hostility that prevails. Every year, a large number of these pandits leave for Tullmulla in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir to celebrate the annual Kheer Bhawani Mela. However, to escape from the dangers of war, the migrated pandits have built a replica of the Mata Kheer Bhawani Temple in Jammu to celebrate the day, said The Hindu report.


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Kashmiri Pandits. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

“I will only appeal to Kashmiri Pandits that they should trust us and pray. We are trying to create peace here, Kashmir is incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits,” said Ms. Mufti to The Hindu reporter. Urging for overall unity, she said, “To infuse confidence in them, first they will be brought to transit camps, transit communities, where our Muslim migrants will also live with them. Once their confidence grows, then they can live wherever they want”. These people feel like they are living the lives of refugees even in their native places.

Ashok Kumar expressed his solution for this problem; urging the government authorities to seriously consider establishing composite colonies in the valley, he said that it was the only way to ensure safety.

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On Saturday night, June 11, stone pelting was inflicted upon a police station. A bus carrying pilgrims to Tulmulla was caught in this violence. Two women in the bus were reportedly injured, based on which Pandits have been further discouraged to return.

-prepared by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter Handle: @saurabhbodas96

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