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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Kashmiri Pandits threaten 'fast unto death'

IANS , Hindustan Times   Srinagar, June 04, 2014
First Published: 16:11 IST(4/6/2014) | Last Updated: 16:13 IST(4/6/2014)

Dozens of migrant Kashmiri Pandits Wednesday held a peaceful protest here against 'callous attitude' of the central and state governments towards their problems. 

Shouting slogans against the central and the state governments, representatives of All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee (APMCC), Jammu and Kashmir, said that if their demands were not fulfilled, they would "sit on fast unto death" during the Janmashtami festival August 17. 

The six-point charter of demands of the migrant Pandits includes re-drafting of the pending Kashmir temples and shrines bill in the state assembly, and probe into encroachment of shrine and temple lands in Kashmir Valley.  Besides, the Pandits also want a dialogue with Pakistan for facilitating their visit to the Sharda Peeth temple in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir, establishment of Sharda Peeth University in the state, and a special employment package for the unemployed youths of the community. 

The representatives showed a 2013 letter of state rehabilitation minister AA Khan, requesting one of their members, Vinod Pandita,  to end his fast-unto-death, undertaken in Porbandar (Gujarat) to press for the demands.  "The minister had assured in writing in 2013 that our demands were being considered, but even after that nothing has happened," a representative of the Pandits said.

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