Geelani opposes separate colonies for Kashmiri Pandits
Hardline chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani today accused New Delhi of trying to “create a state within a state by coming up with settlements in the valley” and threatened of agitation against the “ploy”. HT reports.Updated: Jul 02, 2012 19:09 IST
Hardline chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday accused New Delhi of trying to “create a state within a state by coming up with settlements in the valley” and threatened of agitation against the “ploy”.
“In the garb rehabilitating Kashmiri Pandits, New Delhi is planning to create Israeli-type settlements in Kashmir,” alleged Geelani during a press conference at his residence in Srinagar.
Claiming having highly-placed process privy to the “game plan”, Geelani said he fears people associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Sangparivar and others from outside the state will be settled in such settlements.
The 83-year-old separatist leader accused the state government of approving “settlements of non-state subjects in the state”.
“The aim is to change demography and the nature of Kashmir dispute…In these settlement colonies fundamentalists would be trained and armed to trigger civil war in Kashmir,” alleged Geelani.
In the same breath, Geelani extended support to return of Pandits saying “Kashmiri Pandits should come and settle at their original places and live along with Kashmiri Muslim.”
Geelani said if the migrant families have sold their houses, the government should provide them Rs 30 lakh each to construct their houses at their original places.
“But creating separate zones in the name of Kashmiri pandits is unacceptable,” Geelani said, adding “Kashmiri Pandits are part of our society.”
He appealed to Kashmiri Pandits “not to accept this plan aimed at dividing our society and create civil strife.”
The Hurriyat is planning to hold seminars and programmes at district levels on the issue. “If the government does not shelve the programme, we will launch an agitation,” threatened Geelani.
On June 20, chief minister Omar Abdullah asked the Centre to hike the assistance package from Rs 7.5 lakh to 20-25 lakh and promised a government job to 6,000 unemployed Pandit youths as part of the Prime Minister’s rehabilitation package.
In 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced Rs 1,867-crore package for those Pandits who migrated from Kashmir valley in the wake of heightened militancy and threats in 1990.
The state government’s relief organization puts the number of families that migrated in 1990 at 57,000. Among the migrants included a few Muslim and Sikh families too.
There are 808 Pandit families that never migrated from the valley, according to the state revenue department.