J&K: Vaishnavi given tearful adieu



Jammu: All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference president Pandit Amar Nath Vaishnavi died at his residence in Jammu after a brief illness last evening. He was 87.

As their leader, Vaishnavi had led the Kashmir Pandit (KP) community for past several decades and became the first president of Yuvik Sahba (Sheetal Nath).

Born in Srinagar in 1925, Vaishnavi fighting for the country's Independence was jailed several times, including during the Emergency in 1975.

He had headed the Sahita Samiti, which provided relief and food to the displaced KPs soon after their migration from the Valley to Jammu and other areas in the region in 1990.

"Vaishnavi Ji was only leader of the community who changed the fate of the young generation by ensuring they get reservation in the professional colleges and universities", General Secretary of State Congress and Apex committee member Hira Lal Pandita said.

The last rites of the leader of the largest organisation of KPs in Jammu and Kashmir was performed at the Bantalab Cremation Ground.

The members of the KP community regretted that there was no representative from the Jammu and Kashmir government at the Cremation Ground to pay last respects to the veteran leader, who was also a member of the government's apex decision making body for Kashmiri Pandits.

"Chief Minister and Governor or the ministers failed to express even condolence to the most powerful leader of the community", claimed All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC) chairman Vinood Pandit before reporters here.

PTI