Kashmiri Pandits ask Sushma Swaraj to take up their cause

Last Updated: Monday, August 13, 2012 - 23:50

New Delhi: A delegation of Kashmiri Pandits on Monday called on Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj to press for their demands including representation in Rajya Sabha, their rehabilitation in the Valley and a special package for unemployed over aged youths.

The Kashmiri Pandits Conference delegation, headed by Kundan Kashmiri, met Swaraj and asked her to take up their cause. It claimed that Swaraj has promised to raise their demands in the ongoing session of Parliament.

"We want that the overaged youths from our community be given an age relaxation of seven years in government jobs or a grant of Rs 25 lakh to start a venture," Kashmiri told PTI.

Other demands include giving representation to the community in the Rajya Sabha, settling displaced Kashmiri Pandits living in Delhi and NCR in rented accomodation, regularising contractual teachers and enhancement of the monthly grant of Rs 5,000 per displaced family to Rs 10,000.

"We also want the Centre to prevail upon the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to pass the Shrine and Temple Bill which has been pending for 7-8 years. This will give the Kashmiri Pandits the right to form a body on the lines of the Gurudwara Prabandak Committee to manage their temples and shrines in the Valley," Kashmiri said.

The Kashmiri Pandits also want the government to ensure that they get to visit the Sharda temple in PoK. "Pilgrims from Pakistan and PoK are allowed to visit India, so we should also be allowed to go to PoK," Kashmiri said.

The delegation also maintained that the Indian Constitution should be implemented in toto in the border state as is done in the rest of India. Article 370 gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

PTI



First Published: Monday, August 13, 2012 - 23:50

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