SRINAGAR: The central government has ruled out setting up of composite townships for migrant Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) doesn't have any plan to set up composite townships for displaced Kashmiri Pandit migrants in the Valley,” said the reply by Ram Krishna Swarnakar, director in union home ministry, to an RTI query by Jammu-based social worker Rohit Choudhary.
The groups representing displaced Kashmiri Pandits, who migrated from Kashmir after eruption of militancy in 1990, have been demanding the setting up of the separate townships for the displaced community in the Valley.
The displaced Pandit families are living in Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country.
According to MHA report, about 62,000 registered Kashmiri migrant families including Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims are living in the country.
41462 migrant families are living in Jammu province. Of them, 37347 families belong to Hindus including Pandits, 2252 Muslim families and 1758 Sikh families.
About 20,000 Kashmiri migrant families are living in Delhi/NCR and 2000 other families are settled in other states.
In September this year, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had announced in Srinagar that the central government has decided to construct 6000 transit accommodations for migrant Pandits in the Valley.
He had also stated that central government had decided to sanction 3000 more jobs to migrant Pandits and for the purpose, Rs 1080 crores have been sanctioned to the state.
3000 jobs were already sanctioned for migrant Pandits by the State government and more than half of them have been filled.
A report prepared by MHA earlier this year had revealed that PDP-BJP coalition government in J&K has identified 90 acres of land in Kashmir for setting up over 3400 transit accommodations for migrant Pandits.
The State government had issued authoritisation to the executing agency for construction of 400 transit accommodations in Valley for the migrant Pandits.
The transit accommodations are to be set up in Central, North and South Kashmir.
The separatist and mainstream leaders in Kashmir are opposed to setting up of separate township for migrant Pandits in the Valley.
The opposition National Conference president and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah had recently said that the Pandits were not evicted by Kashmirs but by the then Governor of the State, Jagmohan.
“He (Jagmohan) told them that I would end the militancy in few months and you would come back later. However, even after passage of 28 years, he has not ensured their return to the Valley,” he had said.
Farooq had told Pandits that it they have to live in Kashmir, they have to live with Muslims. “I have told them that you won’t be saved by Indian army or police but by Kashmiri Muslims”.
The State government has maintained that 219 Kashmir Pandits were killed in Valley after eruption of militancy since 1989.