SRINAGAR: Ahead of the visit of Home Minister Amit Shah, which has come days after the killing of several civilians including Sikhs and Pandits, police has asked the Pandit community to give in writing that they don’t need security cover of the police. A Pandit body met Shah during his visit to Kashmir and he told them he was “aware about the matter”, Satish Mandir, chairman of the Reconciliation, Return, and Rehabilitation of Migrants Forum, told Kashmir Reader.
Mandir said that Pandits have issues with signing of the written undertaking because the manner in which security was offered was not okay. According to him, two-room accommodation for the police escorts in the house of the Pandit family was asked as a prerequisite for it.
“It was for many reasons impossible,” Mandir said. “Security is meant for protection. Why do they need permanent rooms in the house?” he asked. “They are supposed to keep vigil outside.”
He said many Pandits have already signed the document but the issue has been raised with various agencies to get it reversed. “I hope it will be heard,” he said. “But the meeting of a Pandit body with the Home Minister returned with the feeling that nothing came out of it.”
Sanjay Tickoo, head of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), said that it was true that undertakings have been sought but they have written to various agencies about it. “Hope it will serve the purpose,” he said.
Much before the civilian killings, the two Pandit bodies had in their separate communications to the government asked for security cover, but it was not granted. Tickoo, a Pandit who chose to stay in Kashmir when most of his community members left in the 1990s, told Kashmir Reader that since June this year, the body had written multiple times to the LG’s and Chief Secretary’s office, but they did not respond to his letters. Mandir, too, had written to the government.