Srinagar: Kashmir High Court Bar Association on Wednesday opposed the state government’s plan of setting aside 50 acres of land to construct a separate township for Kashmiri Pandits, arguing that such a move would create a wedge between the returning migrants and the locals.
“The promised earmarking of 50 acres of land as the first instalment for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits is strongly denounced, criticised and opposed,” the lawyers’ body said after its general body meeting here.
The association said that the residents of the Valley were not against the return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homes but against their rehabilitation in separate colonies. “By rehabilitating the Kashmiri Pandits in those colonies, a wedge would be created between the Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims and it will also create hatred and disharmony amongst them,” the association said.
While replying during a debate on Demand for Grants of his Ministry, Union Home Mininister Rajnath Singh told Lok Sabha on Tuesday that Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Saeed has promised to earmark 50 acres of land as the first instalment for rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri Pandits.
“Kashmiri Pandits are a part of Kashmiri culture and are at liberty to live anywhere, but not in colonies to be established for them by the government,” the lawyer’s body said. “It is for the Kashmiri Pandits to return or not to return to Kashmir, and the government has no role in forcing or facilitating their return and settlement in the colonies, to be exclusively meant for them. Settlement of the Kashmiri Pandits in these colonies will have social and political ramifications,” it added.