Omar Abdullah Calls 'The Kashmir Files' a 'Concocted Story'

Srinagar- The National Conference on Friday broke its silence on 'The Kashmir Files' saying while the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits was a "stain on Kashmiriyat", the movie was far from the truth as the film makers have ignored the sacrifices of the Muslims and Sikhs who had also suffered from militancy.

Vice President of the party and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah said that if 'The Kashmir Files' was a commercial movie, no one has an issue, but if the film makers claim that it is based on reality, then the facts are the other way round.

"When the unfortunate incident of Kashmiri Pandit migration took place, Farooq Abdullah was not the chief minister. Jagmohan was the governor. It was V P Singh's government at the Centre which was supported by the BJP from outside," Abdullah told reporters in Damal Hanji Pora of Kulgam district of South Kashmir.

Abdullah wondered why this fact was kept away from the movie.

"Don't manipulate the truth. It's not the right thing.

"If Kashmiri Pandits have fallen victims to militancy, we have utmost regret about that, but let us not forget the sacrifices of Muslims and Sikhs who were also targeted by the same gun," he said.

Abdullah said that some of those from the majority community were yet to return.

"Today, there is a need to create an atmosphere where we could bring back all those who had left their homes and not create a communal divide," he said.

The former chief minister said an atmosphere would be created for the return of Kashmiri Pandits.

"But I do not think that those people who have made this movie, want them (Kashmiri Pandits) to return. Through this picture, they want Pandits to remain outside always," he said.

Abdullah later took to twitter and said, "The pain and suffering of 1990 and after can not be undone. The way Kashmiri Pandits had their sense of security snatched from them and had to leave the valley is a stain on our culture of Kashmiriyat. We have to find ways to heal divides and not add to them."

While replying to one of the tweets by a Kashmiri Pandit about the reasons for a long silence, Abdullah reminded him saying "...I've been saying it for years now, both as CM and out of office. Perhaps you weren't paying attention to what I was saying then. I've been a long time advocate of a Truth and Reconciliation commission to look in all that happened from 1990 onwards."

Earlier, in his address, Abdullah said attempts were being made to defame a community across the world.

"A common Kashmiri is not happy with what happened 32 years ago, that people were made to leave the Valley. Today, an impression is being created that all Kashmiris are communal, that all Kashmiris do not bear the people from other religions. What will be achieved by this? Will it make the road easier for their return?

"I am afraid that the hatred which is being created against Kashmiri Muslims today, God forbid, our children studying outside the state, should not bear its brunt," he said.

During his tenure as the chief minister, Abdullah had advocated setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to go into the events unfolding since the onset of militancy.

Showcasing bloodshed for political gains dangerous for country: Tarigami

The migration of Kashmiri Pandits is a tragic chapter of Kashmir's history, but showcasing bloodshed for "political gains" is dangerous for the country and the people, CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami said on Friday.

His remarks come in the wake of controversy over the recently-released movie "The Kashmir Files", which is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s.

Talking to reporters here, Tarigami said there is a need to objectively project the tragedies suffered by the people in Kashmir.

"It is our misfortune that Kashmir has been for the last so many decades continuously going through a tragic situation, and the most shameful incident which has caused a dent to the identity of Kashmir is the migration by a very important part of our society the Kashmiri Pandits, who left their homes because of fear. There is no doubt that is a tragic chapter of our history," he said.

The CPI(M) leader, however, said the fact is also that the violent forces did not single out people of any particular religion.

"I only have one thing to ask to those elements who are trading in the Kashmiri blood by selling it in various markets, that please stop. Whoever was killed, whichever religion he belonged to, but he was a Kashmiri," he said.

Referring to various incidents of killings in the Valley in the past, Tarigami said while in the 1998 Wandhama massacre, 23 Pandits were killed, the Gaw Kadal massacre in 1990 cannot be forgotten.

He called for establishing a truth and reconciliation commission.

"While our innocent brothers and sisters from the minority community were killed in Budgam, who killed the passengers of a bus in Kupwara? If an innocent sister from Pandit community was raped and killed in Sopore, then what happened in Kunan Poshpora?" Tarigami said.

"If Hindus and Muslims were killed, our brothers and sisters from Sikh community were killed in Chattisinghpora (in 2000) as well. I want the PM to show boldness and constitute a truth and reconciliation commission like after apartheid in Africa to know who was killed and by whom. While those killed will not return, but accountability will be established. Their families will come to know who killed them," he said.

The CPI(M) leader said that "to showcase the bloodshed for political gains is dangerous for the country, the people and for Kashmir".

"I want to say this to the people in power that Kashmir is not a piece of land, but Kashmir is the name of a civilisation. We have a history of 5000 years which cannot be erased. Our identity cannot be erased by explosives either from here or across. I want to appeal the BJP not to divide my tears and the tears of my friends," Tarigami added.

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