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Home / Mumbai News / Kashmiri Pandits from Mumbai want to return to their homeland

Kashmiri Pandits from Mumbai want to return to their homeland

Kashmiri Pandits, who are part of the Saraswat Brahmin community, have been the original residents of the Valley until the 1990s. Militancy followed by persecution forced the community to leave Kashmir, and settle in other parts of the country.

mumbai Updated: Aug 06, 2019, 06:12 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
An activist takes part in a protest in Bangalore on August 5, 2019, in reaction to the Indian government scrapping Article 370 that granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
An activist takes part in a protest in Bangalore on August 5, 2019, in reaction to the Indian government scrapping Article 370 that granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.(AFP)

With the scrapping of Article 370, Kashmiri Pandits in Mumbai are hoping to return to their homeland.

Kashmiri Pandits, who are part of the Saraswat Brahmin community, have been the original residents of the Valley until the 1990s. Militancy followed by persecution forced the community to leave Kashmir, and settle in other parts of the country.

Sunil Ranjan, an atomic energy officer in Kashmir, was forced to leave his house in March 1990. “Eighty per cent of my non-Kashmiri colleagues were literally forced out of the state in the 1990s. The central government employees who were working there were doing it half-heartedly. This decision will allow anyone to settle there,” said Ranjan.

Ranjan, however, said they differ on the government’s decision to offer reservation for the economically weaker sections in educational institutions and government jobs.

Dr Sanjay Dhar, president of Kashmiri Pandit Association comprising about 2,000 families, said the community can’t wait to go back. “The decision will eventually lead to development in the Valley,” said Dhar.

Chandji Bhat, an editor of a community magazine, said, “Panchayat elections in the state have been boycotted for long. If a basic democratic procedure like a panchayat election can’t be held, it’s best to scrap Article 370.”

ht epaper

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