SRINAGAR: A Kashmiri Pandit group Saturday rejected separate colonies for returning migrant Pandits in the Valley saying they are ready to live with Muslims in their homes.
The group disclosed that 30 migrant Pandit families are willing to return to the Valley after assurances from Muslims.
“We don’t want to live in separate colonies in a Valley. We will return on the assurances of our Muslim brethren,” Sandeep Mawa, chairman J&K Reconciliation Front (JKRF), a Kashmiri Pandit group, told reporters here today.
He said about 30 migrant families have expressed their willingness to return to the Valley and live among the majority community. “They have been assured by their friends and Muslim neighbours in the Valley of security and rehabilitation”.
Sandeep said some Muslim brothers have offered their houses to them. “They have assured to open their hearts and doors for the returning Pandits”.
“We don’t need separate colonies. We are ready to live with Muslims in their homes,” he said.
Sandeep said some migrant Pandits have their property in the Valley while some have sold it. “If Muslims offer accommodation to Pandits in their homes, then it will defeat the elements, who are politicizing the issue of separate townships for Pandits”.
“We also are of the opinion that establishing separate townships for Pandits is not a good step,” he said.
JKRF spokesman Sanjay Reshi said government and politicians have less role in return of migrant Pandits to the Valley. “The civil society of Kashmir has to play a major in safe, honourable and non-controversial return of migrant Pandits to the Valley”.
He said there should not be politics on return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits as it will disturb the traditional harmony, brotherhood, and Kashmiriyat.
The Pandits enmasse migrated from the Valley after eruption of militancy in the State in 1989.
Sanjay said the group is in talks with local civil society to reach consensus over the return and rehabilitation of migrants Pandits.
The opposition parties and separatist leaders have been opposing setting up of separate colonies for Pandits in the Valley. They want them to return to their respective places, where they used to live before they migrated after eruption of militancy in the State.
However, State Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti recently said returning Pandits would be settled in transit accommodations till the time they feel safe to return to their original places of residence.
She said it cannot be expected that the people who have left the Valley 25 years ago will straight away go back to their places.