Expressing deep concern over the “worsening” situation of the Kashmiri Pandits, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal requested the Centre to safely rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits.
“Kashmiri Pandits are being murdered one-by-one; Central Government is doing nothing to protect them. At least 16 Kashmiri Pandits including government officer Rahul Bhatt have been gruesomely murdered. If Kashmiri Pandits try to raise their voice against the murders of their loved ones, they are met with brute action to suppress their voice. The whole nation needs to work together to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits in the valley; we are ready to do whatever we can to help the cause.”
Kejriwal said, “The Kashmiri Pandit is extremely distressed today. They have only one demand from the government – security to protect them from local terrorists. Kashmiri Pandits had mustered up the courage to go back to reside in Kashmir, but they are meeting the same fate that befell Kashmiri Pandits back in the 90s. Each and every one of them is being targeted, being dragged out of their homes and offices, and brutally murdered.
“This is absolutely inhumane and goes against the very tenets of basic humanity, against the values of our nation. Despite the severity of the situation, no authority is coming forward to put a stop to this violence. When Kashmiri Pandits – our poor brothers and sisters raise their voice against the brutalities, they are locked up in their colonies to curb their agitation,” he said.
“When they experience a loved one violently killed in front of their own eyes and attempt to voice their grief and their anger against the murderers, they are suppressed. What kind of justice is this? Be it government officer Rahul Bhatt, Srinagar-based chemist Makhan Lal Bindroo, or school teacher Rajni Bala – just like them, a total of 16 Kashmiri Pandits have been killed by terrorists this year,” he added.
He continued, “The innocent lives we lost were all an integral part of the Kashmiri community. The common public in Kashmir only prays for a united and peaceful coexistence of all religions in the state. However, the terrorist forces see unity as the biggest threat to their agenda. Today, Kashmiri Pandits wish to return to their hometowns in Kashmir, to their Janambhoomi. Where else will they go? Whenever a person leaves their motherland for a foreign city or country, no amount of advancements and facilities can make up for the loss of one’s home, their soil.
“There is an immeasurable amount of love and attachment that one has for their Janambhoomi, and that can never be replaced. The current situation has compelled Kashmiri Pandits to negotiate with truck drivers in the valley in order to move out of Kashmir to Jammu or some other state in order to survive. The same dreadful era of communal killings from the 1990s is rearing its ugly head again. This is the second time in their lives that Kashmiri Pandits are being forced to flee their homes to stay alive – all because the state is unable to ensure basic security for them,” he said.
Arvind Kejriwal concluded, “I demand that the innocent Kashmiri Pandits are given adequate security so that they do not feel compelled to leave their homeland. Their voices should not be curbed, for Kashmir is their Janambhoomi, and they reserve the right to build a safe life on the land where they were born. It is my humble request to the Central Government that they work towards providing a safe haven to the Kashmiri Pandits in their homeland – to work together with all concerned authorities. The Delhi Government is ready to contribute in whatever capacity we can to ensure the Kashmiri Pandits lead a peaceful life in their Janambhoomi.”