“Pandits Need Separate Colonies” Says Satya Pal Malik- Farooq Abdullah Calls him BJPs Governor

July 14

Jammu Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik has justified the BJPs concept of building separate townships for returning Pandits who have fled the Valley, saying locations for such boroughs had already been identified and work was underway to develop them.

“Separate township is not a matter of choice but out of necessity. We have to give them a nice place to stay, of their choice,” Malik said in an interview.

Malik noted that “all these people who claim to be major leaders” — a reference to Kashmiri politicians — received police and army protection.

“Aren’t we protecting them? We will have to do the same for the Pandits,” he said. “The best course would have been that those who have taken away their homes invite them back. For this, Mehbooba and Omar, Farooq Sahab and Hurriyat should make an effort to convince their society to do this and leave their homes. That’s not my job, that’s their job. I am just trying to provide them an alternate accommodation so that they have a home, a school and security.”

It was a reference to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti, and Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference and the Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella group of separatist organisations.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will revive a plan to build secured camps to resettle Pandit community members in the Kashmir Valley, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav told Reuters in an interview earlier this month. “Their fundamental rights of returning to the Valley have to be respected. At the same time, we have to provide them proper security,” Madhav was quoted as saying.

Several thousand Kashmiri Pandits fled the Valley for safety to places like Jammu and other Indian cities in the early 1990s after the start of militancy and the targeted killing of some members of their community. Many claim that their homes have been taken over by locals who coveted the properties.

Meanwhile Farooq Abdullah, the National Conference president has called Satya Pal Malik as BJPs Governor.