SRINAGAR: An organisation of non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley today held a protest here in support of their demands including minority status for them and a job package for the youths.
"The government is focusing on bringing back the migrant Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley which is a good thing. However, the non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits are being ignored and neglected by successive state governments," General Secretary of Hindu Welfare Society Kashmir C L Bhat said. He said the protest was being held to press the government to fulfill the demands of the Kashmiri Pandits living in the Valley.
"We want minority status for the non-migrant Pandits and a job package for our youth who are getting frustrated due to unemployment and want to leave the Valley," he said. Bhat said the state government had constructed tenements for internally displaced Kashmiri Pandits of the Valley at Mattan in Anantnag district and Sheikhpura in Budgam district but these were being given to migrant Pandits returning under the PM's job package.
"The internally displaced Pandits are paying high rentals on private accommodation while the quarters meant for them have been allotted to returning migrant Pandits. We want the government to resolve this problems as 61 families have been affected by this decision," he added.
Bhat also said the state government should pass the Protection of Hindu Temples and Shrines Bill in the state assembly at the earliest so that the places of worship of the minority community are safeguarded. "This bill has been hanging for several years now," he said.