Rehabilitate us before fresh domiciles, demand migrant Kashmiri pandits

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Srinagar: Days after domicile certificates were issued to non-locals, an organization of migrant Kashmiri Pandits has demanded their return to and rehabilitation in Kashmir before fresh domicile certificates are issued in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Reconciliation, Return and Rehabilitation of Migrants, a grouping of migrant Kashmiri Pandits headed by Satish Mahaldar, demanded the “stopping of the issuance of domicile certificates until Kashmiri Pandits are rehabilitated in the valley,” according to newswire Indo-Asian News Service (IANS).

The organization said that issuing domicile certificates to non-natives before rehabilitating migrant Pandits was a violation of their constitutional and humanitarian rights. “Our fundamental Rights and constitutional rights have been denied since the last 31 years. And issuing domicile certificates before settling us back is a violation of all the basic constitutional and human rights,” the group said in the statement.

The organization further accused the Government of India of “pleasing” non-natives at the expense of the migrant Pandits and of “consistently failing [the migrants] since the last decades”. “We have hopes from this Modi government, but so far nothing has come out on our rehabilitation policy,” the statement read.

The organization also demanded an immediate rollout of a rehabilitation plan for the migrants. “This should be announced before the issuance of domicile certificates to any person. The process of issuing of domicile certificates should be stopped immediately,” the statement said.

The statement added: “The plight of our community is the fodder for many political parties in the country. Our condition is among the main tools that help India to counter Pakistan at several international platforms.”

The organization also criticized the unionist “majority population” leadership of J-K for having “failed to protect the rights of people, including rights and respect of the minorities of Kashmir” and “the greater autonomy of the state which was given at the time of accession. Kashmir is in dire peril and the first duty of every Kashmiri is to defend his mother land against any intruder.”

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