Centre committed to dignified return of Kashmiri Pandits: MOS Jitendra Singh

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 10, 2015 20:30 IST

Amidst protests in Jammu and Kashmir over settlement of Kashmiri Pandits, the Centre on Friday said it was committed to the "dignified and secured" return of the displaced community to their place of origin and that the issue should not be politicised.

"In principle, our government and my organisation (BJP) are committed to dignified and secured return of Kashmiri Pandits to their place of origin. The issue should be looked into on humanitarian ground. No one should do politics over it," minister of state for PMO Jitendra Singh said.

Singh, who hails from the state, was replying to a question on protests in Kashmir Valley against the proposed move to construct composite townships for Kashmiri Pandits.

"So far, the government's action is on right direction.

The home minister has already said that whatever decision has been taken, it has been taken in good faith," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi.

The minister said it was not fair to say that Kashmiri Pandits do not want to go back to the Valley.

"They would go back if there is dignity and security in their return. Any person living outside his or her homeland would not feel comfortable," he said.

Singh said return and rehabilitation of Pandits was a very sensitive issue and should be handled with care. "We have to move as per the wishes of Kashmiri Pandits. They have the right to return to their place of origin. The community had to leave in a very unfortunate circumstances," he said.

At a meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday, home minister Rajnath Singh had asked Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to provide land in the state for composite townships for Kashmiri Pandits.

During the meeting, the chief minister assured the home minister that the state would acquire and provide land at the earliest for composite townships in the Valley, according to a home ministry statement issued after their interaction.

However, on Thursday, Sayeed told the state assembly that there were no plans for a separate cluster for the Pandits.

The chief minister, on Friday, also said his government was committed to bring the displaced community back but ruled out setting up "Israeli-type" separate clusters for them.

There were protests in Srinagar on Friday against the plans for a separate township for Kashmiri Pandits. The separatists'call for a shutdown tomorrow in Kashmir against the proposal.

Meanwhile, various organisations representing people of Kashmiri Pandit community held protests in Jammu on Friday against
the separatists and political parties opposed to the idea of creation of a "composite township" in Kashmir Valley for the displaced people.

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