Calls for hunger strike against townships, Sainik colony on June 4
Srinagar: A Kashmiri Pandit and trade union leader Sampat Prakash on Wednesday charged the government of India with trying to ‘divide Muslims and Pandits’ by mulling to set up ‘Israeli-type Pandit townships’ in the Valley.
Prakash, who heads the pensioners and civil society association, said he would hold a hunger strike against the townships and Sainik colony proposal on June 4 at Srinagar’s Pratap Park. “This colony will create a wall of hatred on the pattern of Israel. I, along with my Pandit government employees, will launch an awareness movement against the move. It is a challenge to Kashmir’s history and nationalism,” he told reporters here.
Resistance groups have already called for a stir against the proposal of setting up separate townships, Sainik Colony and the industrial policy.
Sampat said he would support the pro-freedom groups in opposing the Sainik colony too. “Only 1 to 2 percent people from Jammu and Kashmir join the army. But they want to set up a Sainik Colony! We will oppose all the moves challenging Article 370,” Sampat said, adding that “fringe elements such as Panun Kashmir” were raising the township bogey.
“Only a minority of Pandits want a township on the pattern of Israel and Palestine. Muslims and Pandits have lived together in harmony even after the 1990’s. Muslims perform cremation of Pandits now,” he said, adding that “Kashmir is a dispute and should be resolved”.
While blaming J&K’s former Governor Jagmohan for the exodus of Pandits from the Valley in the 1990’s, he termed the migration of Pandits an “accident” in the history of Kashmir. “Jagmohan created a fear psychosis among Pandits under a well-planned conspiracy. No Muslim forced Pandits to flee Kashmir,” he said. “Otherwise, how could Pandits have travelled from remote Kupwara or Uri, through Muslim inhabited areas, safely outside Kashmir?” he added.
He said New Delhi should resettle the Pandits in their native places by acquiring land and raising buildings there.