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Protect our land, Kashmiri migrants urge govt

Protect our land, Kashmiri migrants urge govt
Photo: AFP

SRINAGAR: An association for Kashmiri Pandit migrants on Monday urged the central government not to carry out delimitation of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir without taking their views into consideration, as it would be akin to denying them the right to their motherland and life.

Satish Mahaldar of the Reconciliation, Return & Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Migrants, has demanded that the lands of Kashmiri Pandits be protected.

They have demanded a ban on selling, mortgaging, gifting of land and that power of attorney be made invalid.

They have also demanded reservation for local students in Jammu and Kashmir in all educational institutions like schools, colleges and universities and reservations in jobs.

“Kashmiri Pandits are the sole inheritors of the over 5,000-year history in Kashmir. Whatever their number, be it seven lakh, five lakh or one lakh, delimitation without their rehabilitation amounts to denial of justice to them,” they said.

“For us in Kashmir and Jammu, land is like our mother. We have a relationship with her. Many of our significant sites, temples, mosques, gurdwara, dargah, heritage sites, landscapes, customs, music and stories focus on connection to our land. Land is therefore very important to our culture, history and future. Our land has to be protected,” the statement said.

They said before abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, the central government had promised to open IITs and IIMs and medical colleges in Jammu and Kashmir for the local youth. As Jammu and Kashmir opens up, the right of the local youth needs to be ensured.

“We urge and appeal to all the people of Jammu & Kashmir, irrespective of religion, caste and community to come forward and join together to seek justice and our rights.”

“Our demand is simple – ensure our land, culture, education and employment.”

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