National Conference Vice President of Jammu Anil Dhar on Monday resigned from the party, saying that it had lost interest in the cause of Kashmiri Pandits, PTI reported.
Dhar is the third leader to have resigned from the party in two months. In October, National Conference leaders Devender Rana and Surjit Singh Slathia had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.
On Monday, Dhar, in a letter addressed to National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, said he was unhappy with the fact that former Governor Jagmohan Malhotra was considered responsible for the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus, Greater Kashmir reported.
“This is contrary to the fact that it was Pakistan and its proxies, which still continue to be responsible for the exodus of KPs [Kashmiri Pandits] from the Valley,” he said. “Various statements and utterances do not instill confidence among Kashmiri Hindus, who have faced worst kind of genocide, persecution and mayhem during the past three decades.”
In the early 1990s when militancy erupted in Jammu and Kashmir, it led to a massive exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley to Jammu. Most estimates say that 76,000 families left Kashmir then. Malhotra was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir between January and May 1990.
Nationalist Conference leader Omar Abdullah has vociferously criticised Malohatra over the last decade.
In 2012, Abdullah alleged that Malhotra had ordered massacres in Kashmir in the early 1900s, according to India Today. When Malhotra was given the Padma Vibhushan in 2016, Abdullah had asked the government if the former governor was being awarded for the Gaw Kadal killings in Srinagar in January 1990.
As many as 52 civilians had died when the paramilitary Central Reserve Police force had opened fire on a procession in the Gaw Kadal area.
On Monday, Dhar said that Abdullah’s statements had communal overtones and that he seemed biased against Hindus, PTI reported.
“In view of all of this, I have lost faith in the National Conference and as such I resign from basic membership of the party as well as all the posts held by me after serving the party for the past 30 years,” Dhar wrote in his resignation letter.