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Kashmiri separatist leaders unite to oppose Pandit colonies

delhi Updated: May 25, 2016 11:46 IST

SRINAGAR: Kashmiri separatists have forged issue-based unity to oppose the establishment of “exclusive colonies” for Pandits and retired military personnel in the Valley, a first since the 2008 Amarnath land agitation.

They are divided ideologically and politically but the Valley’s three prominent separatist leaders — Syed AliGeelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik — met on Monday evening to challenge the PDP-BJP government over “plans” to rehabilitate displaced Pandits and ex-servicemen of the state.

Hardline Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar said Mirwaiz and Malik went to Geelani’s home at Hyderpora in Srinagar and held a closed-door meeting for about 90 minutes.

“This is the first time after 2008 that all the three leaders have come together to discuss any grave issue regarding Kashmir,” he said.

In 2008, the three held a series of meetings to mount a joint attack after the PDP-Congress government of the time transferred a piece of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, with manages the annual Hindu pilgrimage. The agitation and counter-agitation in Jammu shut the state for months.

In a unique show of strength, the trio has now planned a major showdown on Thursday and Friday to prevent what they said was an attempt to change the state’s demography.

First Published: May 25, 2016 11:02 IST