Looking forward to work with Modi govt on Kashmiri Pandits return: Omar Abdullahhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/looking-forward-to-work-with-modi-govt-on-kashmiri-pandits-return-omar-abdullah/

Looking forward to work with Modi govt on Kashmiri Pandits return: Omar Abdullah

Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits from within the state and elsewhere in the country throng the Kheer Bhawani temple every year.

Omar, who could not visit Kheer Bhawani Temple due to official engagements, extended warm greetings to the Kashmiri Pandit community.
Omar, who could not visit Kheer Bhawani Temple due to official engagements, extended warm greetings to the Kashmiri Pandit community.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Friday said he was looking forward to work with the new government at the Centre on return of displaced Kashmiri Pandit community to the Valley.

“I look forward to working with the new government as they unveil their plans for the honourable return of the displaced Pandit community,” Omar wrote on his Twitter account.

Omar, who could not visit the Kheer Bhawani Temple due to official engagements, extended greetings to the Kashmiri Pandit community on the Kheer Bhawani Festival being celebrated Friday.

“Warm greetings to the members of the Kashmiri Pandit community on the occasion of the Kheer Bhavani Mela.

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“I regret that the presence of and meetings with the 14th Finance Commission has meant, I haven’t been able to visit Tulmullah (Kheer Bhawani temple) today,” he said on the micro-blogging site.

Jammu and Kashmir governor N N Vohra Friday meanwhile, visited Mata Kheer Bhawani Shrine in Ganderbal district and prayed for peace and well being of the people of the state and the country.

The governor extended his greetings to the people, particularly Kashmiri Pandits, on the occasion of ‘Jyestha Ashtami’.

Accompanied by Deputy Commissioner, Ganderbal, Sarmad Hafeez, SSP, Ganderbal, Shahid Mehraj, President Dharamarth Trust Maj Gen (Retd) R S Jamwal and several important members of the community, the governor went around the shrine and interacted with the pilgrims who had thronged the shrine in connection with the annual mela, an official spokesman said.

Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits Friday visited the revered temple of Ragnya Devi on the occasion of Kheer Bhawani festival, with some pinning hopes on the Narendra Modi-led government in seeking the community’s dignified return to the Valley.

Amid Vedic chants and ringing of bells, pandits prayed for peace in Jammu and Kashmir at the temple, popularly known as
Mata Kheer Bhawani temple.

State Congress president Saif-ud-din Soz and Housing Minister Raman Bhalla also paid their obeisance at the shrine and interacted with the devotees.

Soz, accompanied among others by MLC Mohammad Muzaffar Parray and General Secretary Farooq Andrabi General, joined devotees and had interaction with many of them, a spokesman of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee said.

Quoting Soz, the spokesman said he expressed great pleasure that Kheer Bhavani Mela has revived the age-old spirit and Kashmir’s high tradition of harmony and togetherness.

He also expressed happiness that the large number of Muslim brothers and sisters had greeted, wholeheartedly, members of the Kashmiri Pandits on this auspicious occasion.

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Bhalla expressed his happiness and said that the festival is a shining example of communal harmony, amity and brotherhood, which are the hallmark of the glorious pluralistic ethos of Jammu and Kashmir.