Kashmir Hindu group urges Narendra Modi to recognise Pandits as 'internally displaced' people

A Kashmiri Hindu group on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to recognise Kashmiri Pandits as internally displaced people and ensure that the property left behind by them in the Valley is protected and illegal occupants removed.

PTI June 25, 2017 21:14:54 IST
Kashmir Hindu group urges Narendra Modi to recognise Pandits as 'internally displaced' people

Washington: A Kashmiri Hindu group on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to recognise Kashmiri Pandits as internally displaced people and ensure that the property left behind by them in the Valley is protected and illegal occupants removed.

Kashmir Hindu group urges Narendra Modi to recognise Pandits as internally displaced people

Representative image. AFP

"If Kashmiri Hindus lose their temples, houses and property, their ethnic cleansing will become permanent," Kashmiri Hindu Foundation said in a memorandum submitted to Modi.

"Kashmiri Hindus should be recognised as internally displaced people and a declaration should be made to this effect. Implement a plan to ensure that property left behind by the refugees is preserved and protected and illegal occupants removed," it said.

This plan should also cover those Kashmiri Hindus who have been forced to sign documents of sale under any kind of duress, the foundation said.

"Our places of worship have been burnt, vandalised and damaged. We strongly urge the Government of India and the state government that our temples and cultural institutions in the Valley be secured, preserved and protected," said Florida-based Deepak Ganju, head of the foundation.

She was here to attend the community event being held in the honour of Modi.

"Financial and state support for our socio-cultural-religious organisations, that we have managed to run even in our exile, is required urgently. State recognition should be given to Kashmiri Pandit writers, artists and social activists and grants should be provided for them to further their work.

"Centres need to be built for the preservation of thousands of years of our history, culture, tradition and works of art," it said.

Ganju said 4,00,000 Kashmiri Pandits have been forced to leave the Valley en-masse.

"About 1,200 killed and it goes on with just a few thousand remaining in the Valley," Ganju added.

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