NEW DELHI: Accusing the BJP of doing politics over the issue of Kashmiri Pandits' exodus, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday asked how many of the displaced people have returned to the Valley since the party came to power at the Centre.
As the war of words between Kejriwal and the BJP over 'The Kashmir Files' film intensified, the Aam Aadmi Party chief again suggested that the movie be put on YouTube and proceeds earned from it spent for the welfare of Kashmiri Pandits.
Replying to a query on his remarks on the film and the BJP's criticism, he told reporters, "In the last 25 years, since the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, there have been BJP governments at the Centre for 13 years, including the last eight years. Has any Kashmiri Pandit family been rehabilitated in this period? Not a single family has returned to Kashmir."
Kejriwal said that concrete steps should be taken to ensure that Kashmir Pandits can return to their homes. He said 'The Kashmir Files' has earned about Rs 200 crore and alleged that the BJP is "making money on someone's tragedy" through the film.
"This is a crime. The country will not tolerate this," the chief minister said. "The BJP is doing politics over the issue. We demand 'The Kashmir Files' film be uploaded on YouTube so that the entire country can understand the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. The money earned from it should be spent on the welfare of Kashmiri Pandits," he said during the post-budget press conference.
The suggestion was first made by him on Thursday while speaking in the Delhi Assembly. Kejriwal had criticised the move of making the film tax-free, and suggested the filmmaker be put on YouTube for all to see free of cost.
He had also taken a swipe at BJP leaders for promoting the film. The BJP had hit back, accusing him of mocking those who lost their lives to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
Posting a picture showing Kejriwal and other AAP MLAs laughing in the Delhi Assembly, BJP general secretary B L Santhosh had tweeted: "Never forget.
"They are laughing (at) people who lost their lives in J&K due to terrorism, laughing at mothers who lost their children, children who lost their parents, security forces who were killed, women who were butchered, children who were shot at....Shameless anarchists." Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala had tweeted: "Face of Hindu hatred looks like this." Written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri and produced by Zee Studios, 'The Kashmir Files' depicts the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir following the systematic killing of people from the community by Pakistan-backed terrorists.
The film, which was released on March 11, has sparked a debate among political parties. Several BJP-ruled states, including Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, have exempted the film from entertainment tax.
Some critics have alleged that the film paints Kashmiri Muslims in a bad light and could drive a wedge between communities.