In a first after their exile, Kashmiri Pandits to fight assembly polls in homeland

April 29, 2019

Twenty-nine years after terrorists forced them into exile, migrant Kashmiri pandits have formed a political party to make their otherwise-suppressed voice heard.

Newly-appointed office bearers of the Kashmiri Pandit Political Action Committee

Come assembly elections, exiled Kashmiri Pandits will make their electoral debut to fight for justice and honour in the terror-plagued Jammu and Kashmir.

Twenty-nine years after terrorists forced them into exile, migrant Kashmiri pandits have formed a political party to make their otherwise-suppressed voice heard.

Headed by Senior Supreme Court Advocate Ashok Bhan, the Kashmiri Pandit Political Action Committee (KPPAC) has been formed with an aim to fight for justice, return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, and to protect their rights.

KPPAC is all set to make an electoral debut by fielding candidates in different constituencies in the forthcoming assembly polls. It will be for the first time since the migration that any political organisation of Kashmiri Pandits will field candidates in the assembly polls on its own.

“We are intending to field candidates in the polls. At the same time, we are not closing our doors to allies. We will be fielding candidates from KPPAC platforms.Most of the political parties have been behaving inhumanly. It is at the time of elections they throw candies and freebies, which is not acceptable. We are also human and we want to live with dignity,” said Satish Mahaldar, Vice President, KPPAC.

KPPAC has already started a membership drive across the country to test the waters. “We have already started the enrolment programme across the country. We are also looking for allies and partners within Kashmir. It is not going to be Kashmiri Pandits only, we will be having people from Ladakh, Kashmiri Muslims, Sikhs and others as well. We are fighting for justice and that has to be the political ideology. We will be fighting for all communities in Kashmir,” said Mahaldar.

Official figures reveal that around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered in Jammu and 21,000 in Delhi and other states. Of the total migrant families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims and 1,758 Sikhs.

Figures released by Kashmir Pandit Sangrash Simiti (KPSS), an apex body of non-migrant pandits, reveal that there are 808 Kashmiri Pandit families comprising 3,451 people, who did not migrate from the Valley at the onset of terrorism in 1990 and live in 232 different places in Kashmir.

“No justice has been done to the communities including, Kashmiri Pandits. We are looking forward to solicit support of our brethren to fight for justice,” said Mahaldar.

Source : dnaindia

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