Don’t want separate colonies, Kashmiri Pandits tell Mirwaiz

Don’t want separate colonies, Kashmiri Pandits tell Mirwaiz

Srinagar: A group of Kashmiri Pandits on Tuesday met Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq a day after the Kheer Bhawani festival at Tulmulla in Ganderbal district, where thousands of Pandits gathered. The Pandit delegation led by Satish Kumar and Nathil Razdan told the Mirwaiz that they were a group of ordinary Kashmiris who had no affiliation with any organisation.

“Like hundreds of us, we are extremely eager to return to our homeland and we seek the Mirwaiz’s help in this regard,” the delegation told Mirwaiz. “We do not want to live in separate and segregated colonies as is being suggested by authorities, but like in the past we want to live among all in common neighbourhoods,” they added.

According to a statement issued by the Hurriyat (M), the Pandits said that as land prices were much higher than when they left the Valley, they would not be able to afford individual plots and homes. They suggested that in each district of the valley some land may be allocated to them where they could build affordable housing.

“The members of other communities can also buy flats there if they want. They do not want segregation but want to live together,” the delegation said. The delegation told the Mirwaiz that they being part and parcel of Kashmiri society were as pained by what was happening here as their Muslim brethren. Many claim to represent Kashmiri Pandits, they said, but in reality, “Most are exploiting their situation (Pandits’) and their deep emotional desire to come back, rather than doing much about it.”

Mirwaiz told the delegation that he empathised with their yearning to return and assured them that all Kashmiri Muslims wanted them to come back and live together as before. He assured them of all help and assistance and said that he found their suggestion “sincere and sensible”. He said he will help in building a consensus about it among all segments of people and will try to bring others on board. “It was decided that members of the delegation will stay in touch with the Mirwaiz and work on the idea to concretise it and take it forward,” the Hurriayt (M) statement said.