इंडियन आवाज़     22 Feb 2024 11:41:21      انڈین آواز

Strike in Kashmir against ‘separate township for Pandits’


Normal life affected badly in Kashmir following strike call given by separatist groups to protest against the proposed setting up of composite township for the migrant minority Pandits in the Kashmir Valley today.

kashmirShops, business establishments, educational institutions and petrol pumps in Srinagar remained shut, while government offices and banks witnessed thin attendance.

The public transport was off the roads while private cars, cabs and auto- rickshaws plied at few places.

Some shops remained open in the remote outskirts of City.

Separatist groups including both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF had called for a shutdown on Saturday against setting up of separate township for Kashmiri Pandits in the valley.

The call was supported by Kashmir High Court Bar Association also.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had clarified in the state Legislative Assembly that there were no plans of setting up separate township for the Kashmiri Pandits but steps will be taken for return of the minority community to the Valley.

Protest demonstrations were also held at some places including Maisuma area of Lal Chowk Srinagar on Friday against the proposed move.

A group of Kashmiri Pandits, living in the valley, also joined the protest at Maisuma, saying there was no need and no use of making separate colonies for the migrant Pandits. However, various Kashmiri Pandit organizations while rejecting opposition of separatists during protest demonstration in Jammu yesterday stressed upon the State Govt to go ahead with the township proposal.

Pertinently, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Friday made it clear that no final decision has been taken on the issue of return and settlement of Kashmiri Pandits in separate clusters in Kashmir valley while consultation process on this issue is going on with the State Government and all other stakeholders.

The state Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed also asserted yesterday that state govt is committed to bring the displaced community back but ruled out setting up separate clusters for their settlement.

Over 7000 Kashmiri Pandits are already dwelling at various places in Kashmir without any clusters, majority of whom had not left Kashmir with the onset of militancy in 1990.

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