After supporting beef ban, Uttar Pradesh Muslim Vyapar Sangh has announced that it will collect funds for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir.
The organisation has claimed it is laying foundation of houses in the valley in coordination with some groups of Kashmiri Pandits living in other states. The Sangh — a group of Muslim traders from the state, majority of whom belong to the Shia community — will also write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking support for the cause.
“People term us as pro-BJP but we are against it. We are Indians and believe no Indian should be evacuated from his house and live a life of a refugee in his own country,” said Shamil Shamsi, president of the Sangh.
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He added: “If we are against separatists, how can we be termed pro-BJP? Being Muslims, we want to show the separatists that Kashmiri Pandits — who were driven out from the Valley — have our support.”
Shamsi said that during Ramadan, the Sangh will approach people for contribution. “We are not for gimmicks, as we have no political agenda and votebank. We understand that it is a tedious exercise but whatever funds we can manage will be helpful. We have nearly 12,000 members, including both Shia and Sunni Muslim traders. We have decided to collect funds from them. We have 432 office-bearers and each have been assigned duties,” he added.
Claiming that the Sangh will hand over the funds to an organisation of Kashmiri Pandits in New Delhi for their houses, Shamsi said: “We took the decision after hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits staged a demonstration recently demanding homes in the Valley.”