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HindustanTimes Mon,24 Nov 2014

Displaced KPs demand separate union territory in valley

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, September 20, 2013
First Published: 22:07 IST(20/9/2013) | Last Updated: 22:08 IST(20/9/2013)

Displaced Kashmiri Pandits under the banner of Panun Kashmir on Friday made a fresh demand for carving out a union territory in Kashmir valley for their resettlement.

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The demand for a UT in Kashmir for resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits was made after Panun Kashmir rejected home ministry's offer of an employment package for displaced Kashmiris as part of their rehabilitation process in a meeting held with union home secretary Anil Goswami in Delhi on Thursday.

“We want to delink any package such as the employment package offered by the Centre on Wednesday for our rehabilitation in Kashmir. We want our rehabilitation in Kashmir under the Constitution of India where all Indian laws can be implemented. We demand our home land in the shape of a union territory spreading around northern and eastern part of the Jhelum river,” said Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, president of Panun Kashmir while addressing media persons on Friday.

Panun Kashmir accused the Centre of following 'appeasement policy' on Kashmir issue and expressed disappointment over the 'feeble' attempts towards their rehabilitation in Kashmir from where they were forced to flee during the rise of terrorism in the valley.

On the recommendations of parliamentary standing committee on Home Affairs, displaced Kashmiri Pandits on Thursday had met the home secretary in Delhi with regard to their rehabilitation issue.

“Is it feasible for the government to give jobs if lakhs of members of any community are displaced from any place in the country?” Chrungoo questioned.

During terrorism in Kashmir over two decades ago, a large number of Kashmiri Hindus were forced to leave their houses. “As many as 7 lakh Kashmiri Pandits are now living in Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country. Some of our members are living in pitiable conditions in migrant camps in Jammu," Virender Raina, spokesman of Panun Kashmir said.

They also pointed out that despite giving numerous representations to the Centre, their issue of rehabilitation continued to remain unresolved.

Panun Kashmir is organising a two-day exhibition in Panchkula from Saturday that would depict various facets of terrorism in Kashmir and the community's exodus.

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