[Reader-list] Less than 3,500 Pandits left in Kashmir valley

Pawan Durani pawan.durani at gmail.com
Wed Mar 24 09:38:26 IST 2010

"A Seven million community reduced to three thousand by Jihadis &
Islamic fanatics"


Less than 3,500 Pandits left in Kashmir valley

2010-03-23 19:00:00
A massive demographic change has taken place in Kashmir valley which
now has a mere 3,445 Kashmiri Pandits left as against more than
380,000 in 1990, Jammu and Kashmir Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla said

Making the disclosure in the state legislative assembly, the minister
said that 'only 808 families of Kashmiri Pandits were living in the
valley' and the total number of men, women and children of the
community there 'is 3,445'.

Bhalla said that most of the Kashmiri Pandits had fled the valley in
1990 because of fear of militants. 'The killing of community members
led to a fear psychosis in the community,' he said, adding that 219
Kashmiri Pandits were killed in 1990.

Though the minister did not specify it, the number of the families
living in the valley included 31 families of Kashmiri Pandits living
in a protected zone in Sheikhpora in Budgam district and also the
officials working in the banks and central government departments and
organisations. Their exact number is however not known.

More than 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits had fled the valley in 1990.

Those who stayed back, migrated after massacres of the community
members in Sangrampora in Budgam district in March 1997, Wandhama in
Ganderbal, near Srinagar, in January 1998 and Nadimarg in south
Kashmir in March 2003.

Kashmiri Pandits are now mostly living in Jammu and Udhampur within
the state, and in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Bhalla, however, reiterated the state government's resolve to bring
the community back to the valley. He said that work is on to construct
the transit accommodation for them in the valley, where they would be
housed before their original properties are restored to them.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced a Rs.1,618 crore relief
and rehabilitation package for the return of the Kashmiri Pandits to
the 'land of their grandfathers and great grandfathers,' during his
visit to Jammu April 25, 2008.

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