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The Shiv Sena has demanded proper and honourable rehabilitation of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits of Jammu & Kashmir who were forced to flee their home-state over 25 years ago.
“Jammu and Kashmir now has a stable government of the BJP and the PDP, and a strong administration led by Narendra Modi at the centre. Since chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s government has been formed with the BJP support, he must take a decision on ‘ghar wapsi’ of displaced Kashmiri Pandits,” it urged in an edit in Saamana on Tuesday.
The Shiv Sena said the decisions by Sayeed to release extremists and speak about their rehabilitation have raised doubts about what exactly he proposes to do to ensure the return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland.
“Sayeed has said developing separate areas for Kashmiri Pandits … does this mean creating a slum or slum development project for the ‘sons of the soil’? Even this proposal has been opposed by the separatists,” the party pointed out.
PTI | Mumbai | April 14, 2015:: Even as its demand for disenfranchisement of Muslim community has evoked sharp reactions from political parties, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday sought to know why the issue of voting rights of Kashmiri Pandits has not been raised in the same manner.
“There has been a furore across the country over the voting rights of Muslims. But have these people ever spoken about the voting rights of Kashmiri Pandits? How many Hindus were able to cast their franchise during the Jammu & Kashmir assembly elections? Did any Owaisi or one of his secular supporters speak up for the Kashmiri Pandits?” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
Pointing out that not a single Hindu MLA was elected from the Kashmir Valley, it alleged, “No Hindu was left there who could vote. Only because the people who support Pakistan (separatists) could win there, the voting rights of Hindus were taken away, right? But there is nobody to speak about this.”
“Nobody is concerned about the voting rights of Hindus, but people are getting worried for Muslims and making a hue and cry over their right to franchise,” the Sena said.
Notably, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi had on Monday sought action against ‘Saamana’ editor Sanjay Raut, while reacting to Sena’s demand for withdrawal of voting rights of Muslims.
The Sena in its editorial also questioned the PDP-BJP government in Jammu & Kashmir over lack of clear plan for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.
“Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s government has come in power with the support of BJP, hence they have to take a decision about the ‘ghar wapsi’ (home coming) of Kashmiri Pandits. While the Mufti government is busy making arrangements for terrorists who have been released from jail, questions still remain on the fate of Kashmiri Pandits,” the party said.
“Sayeed says there will be a separate colony for Kashmiri Pandits. Does he mean to say he will create a slum-like colony for them or will he start an SRA (Slum Rehabilitation Authority) kind of scheme for them? On top of it, the separatists are opposing this as well,” it further said.