Srinagar: The state government on Thursday denied setting up separate or exclusive townships for Pandits. The proposed housing would be “normal habitation” where Pandits along with other state subjects can live, the government’s spokesman said.
Education minister Naeem Akhtar told reporters that land would be made available for housing where Pandits or people from Jammu can come to reside. “We will make land available where both Pandits and Jammu Dogras can come and live. It will be normal habitation as good as any other place. If you have any alternative to it, we will consider it,” Akhtar said.
Proposals for setting up a Sainik Colony, a Pandit township, and a new industrial policy have united pro-freedom groups, who have warned of a 2008-like agitation that erupted over transfer of land to the Amarnath shrine board.
Akhtar said that such an agitation would not resolve anything. He said the “consensus” between pro-India parties and pro-freedom groups over such issues is a moment to “rejoice”.
“Our friends and elders say they will create a 2008-like situation. Is that the solution? There are many positives in the proposals and we have come together to talk about things that are of concern to all of us,” he said.
“It is time to rejoice that there is a consensus. Our concerns and (Syed Ali) Geelani sahib’s concerns are the same,” he said.
Akhtar also appealed to the pro-freedom camp to suggest how to bring back Pandits with dignity and honour.