Dharmarth Questions KP Claim Over Temples

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‘No distinction between Kashmiri Hindus, other Hindus’

Srinagar: Questioning the proprietary claim of Kashmiri Pandits over temples in Kashmir, a trust headed by senior Congress leader Karan Singh on Wednesday asked the community to abandon the “negative and hostile attitude” and support the various Hindu trusts functioning in the Valley.

“It is most unfortunate that a section of the Kashmiri Pandit community has once again raised the bogey of Hindu shrines in the Valley…The shrines located in Kashmir can by no stretch of the imagination be considered the property of Kashmiri Pandits,” President, Jammu and Kashmir Dharmarth Trust, Major General (Retd) R S Jamwal said in a statement here.

He said after the exodus the Kashmiri Pandit community represented a minuscule minority in the Valley and it was the Dharmarth Trust that fulfilled the responsibility of managing these great shrines.

“After 1990, the Kashmiri Pandit community virtually disappeared from the Valley, and it is to the credit of the Dharmarth Trust that they ensured that every temple under their management remained safe and operative during this period,” he said, adding “The shrines are visited by lakhs of Hindus from around the country and abroad.”

He said the distinction being made between Kashmiri Hindus and other Hindus is “pernicious and unconstitutional”.

Jamwal said Kashmiri Pandits have neither the organisation nor the resources to manage these temples.

“The Dharmarth Trust as well as other Hindu trusts in the Valley, including the Sanatan Dharam Sabha, the Arya Samaj, the Srichand Chinar, the Adi Guzar and the Dashnami Akhada are functioning efficiently and effectively.

“The experience of the shrines actually managed by the Kashmiri Pandit community, with rare exceptions, has been disastrous. We urge that they abandon this negative and hostile attitude and in fact support the various Hindu trusts that are functioning in the Valley,” he said. PTI

KP Rehabilitation: Govt statement in Lok Sabha

Due to onset of militancy in the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in early 1990s, most of the Kashmiri Pandit families along with some Sikh and Muslim families migrated from the Kashmir Valley to Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country.

Present number of registered Kashmiri migrant families is about 62,000. About 40,668 registered Kashmiri migrant families are residing in Jammu; about 19,338 registered Kashmiri migrant families are living in Delhi and about 2,000 families are settled in other states.

The Government announced a Comprehensive Package amounting to Rs. 1,618.40 Crore in the year 2008 for the return and rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Migrants, which provides for many facilities for the migrants e.g. financial assistance for purchase/construction/ repair of houses, construction of transit accommodation, continuation of cash relief, scholarship to students, employment/self-employment, assistance to the agriculturists and the horticulturist and waiver of interest on unpaid loan etc.

The Prime Minister’s Package – 2008 is being implemented by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir. So far state government jobs have been provided to 1,553 migrant youths and one family has availed the benefit of Rs. 7.5 Lakh for construction of house. Also, 469 Transit accommodations have been constructed in the Kashmir Valley and these have been allotted to the newly appointed migrant employees under the Package.

The expenditure incurred by the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir in respect of relief and rehabilitation of the Kashmiri migrants is reimbursed by the Government of India under Security Related Expenditure (Relief & Rehabilitation) – SRE (R&R). An assistance of approx. Rs. 1,599.18 Crore has been provided to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir by the Central Government in this respect under SRE (R&R) since 1989-90.

No proposal to create separate zones exclusively for the Kashmiri Pandits in the State of Jammu and Kashmir is under consideration.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary in a written reply to a question by P.Nagarajan, Sudheer Gupta, Lallu Singh, Ashwini Kumar, Gajanan Kirtikar, Kunwar Haribansh Singh, Lalubhai Babubhai Patel, B.Sriramulu and Adv. M. Udhayakumar in the Lok Sabha today.

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