Efforts on for the return of Kashmiri Pandits: CM

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Government is making all efforts to bring back Kashmiri Pandits who had migrated from the Valley with the onset of militancy in the state, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Saturday.

Speaking at the 15th National Integration Council (NIC) meeting here, Omar said the forced migration of Kashmiri Pandits has created a "big void" in the composite social fabric of the state and efforts are being made to facilitate their return.

"The forced migration of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir Valley to Jammu and other parts of the country has created a big void in the composite communal fabric of my state.

"The government has been implementing a comprehensive multi-sectoral package as a part of the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Programme to facilitate the return of the Kashmiri Pandits to Kashmir Valley and thereby fill up this void," he said at the function which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Omar said the state government has also brought amendments in the electoral laws to ensure that the names of the Kashmiri Pandits, who had to migrate from the Valley due to disturbed conditions, continue to figure on the electoral rolls so that they continue to be stakeholders in the electoral process.

"The state government has enacted the Jammu and Kashmir Migrant Immovable Property (Preservation, Protection and Restraint of Distress Sales) Act 1997 to prevent the distress sale of the properties of the Kashmiri migrants," he said.

Omar said his government was also planning to bring about a legislation to protect the religious places of the Kashmiri Pandits.