KPS observed 21st anniversary of `Holocaust Day` in Jammu

Groups of Kashmiri Pandits came together to stage demonstrations to highlight the plight of community members.

Jammu: Groups of Kashmiri Pandits on Wednesday came together to stage demonstrations to highlight the plight of community members on the 21st anniversary of the `Holocaust Day`, when thousands of them were forced to flee the Valley following the outbreak of militancy.

Over 300 activists of the Joint Forum of Kashmiri Pandit organisations - Panun Kashmir Movement (PKM), All State Kashmir Pandit Conference (ASKPC) and Non-camp Migrant Coordination Committee (NCMCC) staged protest demonstrations before the Raj Bhawan here.

The demonstrators carried placards and raised slogans reminding of the mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley more than 20 years back.
They also raised slogans against terrorism and the alleged apathetic attitude of the government against the displaced community.

It was on the same day in 1990 that the Hindus were given ultimatum to leave Kashmir or get killed, PKM chief Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo told reporters.

He said the Kashmiri Pandits cannot forget the facts of history and the horrors that they were forced to undergo in the Valley thereafter.
"It is the mission of our generation to pass on the message of our history to the next generation. The government, under a well thought out plan, is trying to wish away the issue of displacement of the community", he alleged.

AIKPC General Secretary H L Chatta said the community has been the victim of man-made catastrophe in the Valley and "mere economic or employment packages cannot pave way for our resettlement in the Valley."

Unless geo-political aspirations of the community are met in the valley, there can be no possibility of return. The resettlement is to be seen in the context of genocide and ethnic cleansing of the community in the Valley, he said.

NCMCC chairman D N Kissu said "even after twenty one years of exile, the Kashmiri Pandits continue to live in pathetic conditions in camp and non-camp areas".

"We appeal to the government to urgently complete work at Jagti Township so that the needy and deserving families are rehabilitated," he said.

Panun Kashmir organisation organised a public meeting today and remembering the events that led to the displacement of the Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley. Its convener Dr Agnishekhar said the process their exodus was set in motion for the community with the advent of Islamic rule in Kashmir.

Over 200 activists of Jammu and Kashmir Vichar Manch (JKVM) also observed the day near Jammu Press club here and launched campaign "My Exile" today.