Srinagar: Non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits have decided to go on a hunger strike against the government for not providing them government jobs recommended by the Government of India almost three years ago.
Sanjay Tickoo, president of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarash Samiti and who is based in Srinagar, told Kashmir Reader that a hunger strike has been started after there has been no action on the recommendation of the Ministry of Home affairs for reserving jobs for Kashmiri Pandits in the government.
“In 2017, the MHA recommended the JK administration to give one job per family, which amounts to 808 jobs. We have moved from pillar to post but nothing has happened. Hence we have decided to go on a fast,” he said.
Tickoo will be the first one to fast for seven days. If that does not move the administration, he along with other Pandits will together sit on a fast at the Ganesh Mandir (temple) in Ganpathyar, Habba Kadal.
“We have written to various departments, met several officials, but to no avail. Fast unto death is the last resort remaining for us,” Tickoo said.
Tickoo was among scores of Pandits who stayed back in the Valley even amid the mass exodus in early 1990s. One of them is Sushant Chakoo, a 22-year-old computer student at a private engineering college. His father works in a private company but Sushant wants reservation in government jobs for Pandits as soon as possible.
“It could ease our life. These jobs are our right, and hence the government should act on it,” he said.
Sushant will join the fast after seven days in case the government does not act, he said.
About 3,000 families are part of the protest which has been started by Tickoo. For migrant pandits, there are a number of schemes but for those who live in the valley, there is nothing but the promise of a few government jobs.