Modi government should present a white paper on plight of Kashmiri Pandits, says Congress
The party’s media chief made the statement after reports said 10 Kashmiri Pandits families have migrated from the Shopian district.
The Congress on Thursday held the Bharatiya Janata Party responsible for the alleged exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from south Kashmir’s Shopian district and demanded the government to present a white paper on the plight of the minority community during its eight-year rule, PTI reported.
Reports of Kashmiri Pandits migrating from the Shopian district surfaced on Wednesday after Ashwani Kumar Bhat, whose brother Puran Krishan Bhat was killed by militants on October 16, said that his family will never return to Kashmir.
According to Shopian residents, at least 10 families have left the district.
However, the Shopian administration immediately refuted the allegations about the “Kashmiri non-migrant Hindu population” leaving the district.
The authorities claimed that the village has proper security arrangements. “Even at other pockets of Kashmiri non-migrant Hindu habitations and villages, similar security arrangements are in place,” it added.
At a press conference in Delhi on Thursday, Congress media department head and spokesperson Pawan Khera said that many civilians have been killed in Kashmir this year and that BJP was unable to prevent the crimes, PTI reported.
“What has been your [BJP] achievement in those [eight] years in Jammu and Kashmir?” Khera asked. “You cannot hold elections. You cannot protect Kashmiri Pandits. Is that your achievement?”
He asked that of the 70 ministers that are carrying out an outreach programme in Kashmir, how many have visited a camp of Kashmiri Pandits.
The Congress leader also alleged that Kashmiri Pandit employees are being threatened to return to work against their wishes.
In September, the Jammu and Kashmir government had said that it will stop the salaries of Kashmiri Pandit employees who have been holding protests seeking better security measures.
A group of Kashmiri Pandit employees recruited under the prime minister’s rehabilitation package in 2008 have been holding protests since May. They have been demanding that they be relocated to safer places outside the Valley.
The protests began after Rahul Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit, was shot dead in his office in the Chadoora area of Budgam district on May 12.
‘BJP needs to take history classes’
At the press conference, Khera said that some BJP leaders are students of “WhatsApp nursery” and need to retake history classes, PTI reported.
He made the statement in response to a reporter who asked Khera’s opinion about Union Minister Kiren Rijiju’s article, “75th Anniversary of Five Nehruvian Blunders on Kashmir”.
“If all that they are saying is true, how is it that during the Manmohan Singh era, targeted killings stopped and 75% of the people would participate in the democratic process of elections in the state? We would be happy to get the answer to that,” he said.
It is very easy to blame Jawaharlal Nehru for this, Indira Gandhi for something else, PV Narasimha Rao for something else and Manmohan Singh for the rest, Khera added.