Close on the heels of the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A, the Modi government seems set to correct yet another historical wrong.
Ten special townships and renovation and rebuilding of temples destroyed and desecrated by terrorists were among the promises made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah to a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits on Tuesday. The delegation, which included prominent Kashmiri Pandits like Utpal Kaul, Col Taj Tikoo, Dr Surinder Kaul, Sanjay Ganjoo and Parekisht Kaul, met Amit Shah to express gratitude to the government for abrogating Article 370 and 35A.
During their meeting, the Kashmiri Pandits appealed to the Home Minister to address the issues of displaced Pandits on a priority basis.The Pandits urged Amit Shah to take concrete steps for honourable and dignified return of the community to the Kashmir Valley.
Speaking to India Today TV, Utpal Kaul, who was part of the delegation, said that Amit Shah assured them that special townships will be created in all 10 districts of Kashmir Valley for the rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Pandits. Kaul added that Amit Shah assured them that all temples which have been desecrated and vandalised by the terrorists will be renovated again.
Amit Shah also assured the Kashmiri Pandits that the government will come up with special provisions so that the age limit for government jobs can be extended for the community.
The Hindus of the Kashmir Valley were forced to flee the Kashmir valley as a result of being targeted by JKLF and Islamist insurgents during late 1989 and early 1990. Of the approximately 300,000 to 600,000 Hindus living in the Kashmir Valley in 1990 only 2,000–3,000 remain there in 2016. According to the Indian government, more than 62,000 families are registered as Kashmiri refugees including some Sikh and Muslim families.