A day after protests over changes to the land laws in Jammu by workers of the PDP, J&K National Panthers Party, Congress and Jammu West Assembly Movement, a Kashmiri Pandit organisation Thursday called the amendments a “death knell for the Kashmiri Pandit community” and said if previous governments did not take adequate steps “to help get our land back, this (BJP-led) government has ensured that we remain in exile forever”.
Satish Mahaldar, chairman of Reconciliation, Return and Rehabilitation for Migrants, said, “For 31 years, we have been waiting for return and rehabilitation in our land of origin and without getting us rehabilitated there, the government has thrown open Kashmir’s land for sale.
“We fear that land sharks will usurp our lands, including our temples, shrines and other KP institutions,” he said, and demanded “an immediate ban on the sale of any kind of land until the Kashmiri Pandit community is rehabilitated”.
Calling it a “sad moment” for “me and for the 5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits living in exile”, Mahaldar said, “Exodus has scattered the community and after this order the community will always remain scattered, lose its ethnicity and die a slow death.” He also demanded rehabilitation of the 419 families who had given their consent “in writing” to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs one year ago.
Meanwhile, J&K Police stopped Apni Party workers from taking out a rally to the civil secretariat. The workers earlier protested outside the Press Club, raising slogans against the BJP and calling the land laws as “black laws” for J&K and Ladakh.
Apni Party leader Vikram Malhotra said the law was bound to hit the Dogra community in Jammu.
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