Besides Kashmiri Pandits, lot of other people were also killed in Kashmir: LG

KPs to get 1200 houses in April, 1800 in Dec
*Locals want migrant labourers to work in Valley

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Dec 26: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said today that though some Kashmiri Pandits became victims of targeted killings but a lot of other people have also been killed in the Valley.
He said 1200 homes will be given to Kashmiri Pandits in April next while by December, 1800 more houses will be allotted. In fact, he added, all 6000 houses would be completed soon.
Asserting that he can understand outage of Kashmiri Pandits over targeted killings, Sinha said he was in constant touch with all people and personally met a lot of them.
Participating in Idea Exchange programme of the Indian Express, the Lieutenant Governor said the country should stop seeing the killings of Kashmiri Pandits on the basis of religion since a lot of other people have also been killed.
“It is true that some Kashmiri Pandits became victims of targeted killings. But there is another side too. The country should stop seeing this issue on the basis of religion. A lot of other people have also been killed,” he said.
Maintaining that people from the Kashmir Valley were too killed, Sinha said there are also labourers who come from Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha during the apple season. There were two-three incidents, but a (false) narrative is spread, he added.
He said there are a few people who describe them as locals or outsiders but we shouldn’t get into this
“Anybody can work in any State. The same goes for Kashmir. Majority of people in the Valley appreciate this and want other people to come and work. We also take care of migrant workers. We push for their insurance. We have guidelines regarding their safety and security, both financial and societal,” Sinha said.
He also mentioned in detail the Rehabilitation Policy for the Kashmiri Pandits including remaining jobs, their posting at secured places and construction of houses.
Sinha said 3000 jobs and 3000 homes were to be given in first phase and an equal number in the second phase (to the Kashmiri Pandits).
“A total of 6000 homes were to be constructed but when I took over in August 2020, only 700 were completed. Jobs proposed in second phase were not filled and there were some vacancies from the first phase also. The vacancies were kept citing technical issues. However, now all posts excepting 134 have been filled,” the Lieutenant Governor said.
Admitting that without houses, the Kashmiri Pandits were facing difficulties, he said land has been made available for all 6000 houses. Barring two, tenders for construction have also been completed, he added.
He said he personally visited Baramulla and Bandipora for inspection 10 days back.
“We will give 1200 houses to Kashmiri Pandits in April and 1800 more in December next. We are trying to finish work quickly on a housing complex in Srinagar and we are confident that all 6000 houses would be completed soon,” Sinha said.
He said after targeted killings of Kashmiri Pandits, he was in constant touch with all the people and personally met a lot of them besides some organizations.
Asserting that he tried to understand their problems, the Lieutenant Governor said he attempted to personally solve the issues raised by them.
“Initially, they asked for relocation to safer places and we managed to post them at district headquarters. However, as far as the employees of Rural Development Department are concerned, they can’t be posted in the City but we posted then in the village neighbouring the district headquarters. Few of them are posted at tehsil headquarters but police has secured the area,” Sinha said.
Last week, Sinha told a press conference here that the non-local employees posted in Kashmir can’t be paid salaries sitting at home. The Kashmiri Pandits as well as Reserved Category employees are protesting here for past several days demanding their relocation till “conducive conditions” are created for their return to the Valley.