Migrant Kashmiri Pandits on Thursday demanded a ban on sale of land to outsiders in Jammu & Kashmir till the community is rehabilitated in Kashmir.
Satish Ambardar, chairman of Reconciliation, Return and Rehabilitation, an organisation of migrant Pandits said in a statement: “The Government of India notified land law for Jammu & Kashmir on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, The law paves the way for any citizen of India to buy land in J&K.”
“Kashmiri Pandits feel betrayed. For 31 years we have been waiting for return and rehabilitation in our land of origin. Without getting us rehabilitated in our land, the Government of India has thrown open the Kashmir land for sale. Is this justice? Since 1989, the community has suffered genocide and ethnic cleansing in the valley.”
“The forced exodus has cut us from our roots. This has affected our unique religious, cultural and traditional identity. Today, we feel we feel this government has completely betrayed us. If the earlier ones did nothing to help us get our land back in Kashmir, this government has made sure that we remain in exile forever,” he said.
“The exodus has scattered the community and after this order the community will always remain scattered, lose its ethnicity and die a slow death. A community which has a 5,000-year history in Kashmir is finally being slowly poisoned by the powers that are there.”
“Our Constitution has ensured singularity in plurality, diversity in unity and safeguarding of minorities, but the successive governments have failed to protect the ethnicity of the minority in Kashmir. This order of the Government of India sounds like a death knell for the KP community. It seems that J&K has been put up for sale. The rich and powerful will buy lands and take over the place whereas the original aborigines will continue to live in exile,” he said.
“We fear that land sharks will usurp our lands, including our temples, shrines and other KP institutions. We demand that there should be an immediate ban on the sale of any kind of land until the Kashmiri Pandit community is rehabilitated. We demand that those 419 families be rehabilitated, who a year ago had given in writing to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs that they want to return. We request all parliamentarians to kindly come forward and help to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandit refugees in Kashmir.”