Separate townships not right step: Pandits
SRINAGAR—Amid raging controversy over separate townships for migrants in Kashmir, the Pandits of Bandipora district, who have not migrated, have said that the creation of separate townships for migrant Pandits is not a right step to address the issue.
A Kashmiri Hindu family living in Ajar locality of Bandipora town termed the idea of separate townships as an ill-conceived idea.
Pyaare Lal Butt, a retired Accountant of Finance Department, living along with his brother who is also a government employee, said that during past 26 years not a single untoward incident took place which could have forced us to migrate from Kashmir.“We never felt insecure here. We are safe and sound. We were not made target by anyone here even during the peak of militancy. We will feel insecure in separate townships,” he added.
Pyaare Lal said that around 10,000 Pandits including migrants participated in “Maha Kumbh Mela” last week in Ganderbal and nobody was harmed, even Muslim brethren provided all sorts of help there. Rahul Koul, a government employee in Veterinary department, said that the idea of creating exclusive townships would not resolve anything and instead create gulf between minority and majority community in the territory.
“Incidents happen everywhere. They happen in Delhi, Kolkata, Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere. Kashmir is not a hostile place to live in. During all these years we never felt unsafe,” he said.
Another Hindu family, who had migrated from Kashmir in 1990 but came back in 2007, residing in Kaloosa locality of Bandipora town, said that settling Kashmiri migrant Pandits in separate townships was like caging them. Rakesh Kumar Koul, living along with his parents, wife and children, runs a private school in Kaloosa locality, said by creating separate colonies the authorities were trying to create wedge between the two communities.—KMS