Kashmiri Pandit organizations observe Martyrs Day, seek justice for community

Kashmiri Pandits sitting on protest dharna outside Raj Bhawan in Jammu on Friday.
Kashmiri Pandits sitting on protest dharna outside Raj Bhawan in Jammu on Friday.

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Sept 14: Various organizations of Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) in exile today observed Martyrs Day in the memory of all those who were killed by terrorists in Kashmir since 1989 when armed militancy began in Kashmir Valley.
1989-90 saw the beginning of ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir by Islamic jihadis. Within few months, more than 1500 KPs killed and about five lakh people were thrown out of their homes in one single night.
The Kashmiri Pandits, who are now in exile across the globe, decided to observe the Martyrs Day under the banner of Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora, in 23 countries and all major cities of India. A memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister of India was also signed by the community at large.

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A delegation of Kashmiri Pandits also submitted a memorandum to Hansraj Ahir, Union Minister of Home (MoS), addressed to the Prime Minister of India, requesting him for justice to victims of terrorism by setting up SIT, return and rehabilitation of the exiled Kashmiri Pandits in one separate area to fulfill their geo political aspirations and creation of a statuary body to protect the religious and cultural heritage of the Hindus in the Kashmir Valley.
Delhi-NCR, which has the highest concentration of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, saw the community offering their homage to soldiers and civilians, who sacrificed their lives in Kashmir while fighting the terrorism. Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits came together at Shaheed BK Ganjoo Park at Kalibari Marg and offered floral tributes to the brave souls. Bhajans were recited and tributes were paid to the martyrs.
A programme was organized by BJP Kashmir Displaced District at Bohri (Jammu) to observe Martyrs Day. Floral tributes were paid to Tika Lal Taploo, Prem Nath Bhat and hundreds of innocent KPS who were killed by terrorists in Kashmir Valley. Tributes were also paid to all nationalist people and members of security forces who attained supreme sacrifice while fighting terrorism in the Valley.
On the occasion, a rally was taken out from Om Shiv Saraf Palace to KK Resort, Bohri, Jammu in which hundreds of people from displaced community participated. State BJP general secretary (Org), Ashok Koul, BJP State president, Ravinder Raina, MLCs GL Raina and Surinder Amberdar and District president, Chand Ji Bhat spoke on the occasion. MLC GL Raina, while speaking on the occasion, demanded that a commission of enquiry should be constituted to book all those who are responsible for killing, mass massacres and forcing KPs into exile.
Coming together at a united platform under the aegis of All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference (ASKPC), all prominent organizations of KP community held a massive protest demonstration today outside Raj Bhawan, Jammu to observe the Balidan Divas/ Martyr’s Day and paying homage to hundreds of Martyrs of the community.
While speaking on the occasion, Advocate Ravinder Raina, president ASKPC, lamented that the sacrifice and resilience of the community over last 28 years has gone unrecognized by successive Governments both at State and Central levels. The Government at both levels has miserably failed to address the core issues of this displaced nationalist community, said Raina while paying homage to the unsung Martyrs.
On this occasion, a special Kalash was kept for the community members who participated in this commemoration. This Kalash, said the general secretary ASKPC, Dr T K Bhat, is an embodiment of the battered and brutalized soul of Martyrs who have not received justice till date. He further added that these brutalized souls will continue to haunt this country and nation till absolute justice is not meted to them and all the community members living in exile for last 28 years. The Kalash was later immersed in River Chanderbagha at Relief Commissioners’ office, Canal.
Kashmiri Samiti Delhi, a community organization of KPs living in Delhi, along with Panun Kashmir and scores of other KP organizations from nearby NCR towns and within Delhi, commemorated Martyrs Day. A large number of displaced KPs turned to a candle march protest on the day and raised demands for a separate home land with union territory status by reorganizing the state of J&K, along with status of internally displaced people till they are rehabilitated in their own home land.
They also demanded recognition of their genocide so that perpetuators of the death of their people are brought to justice. Rich floral tributes were paid to the memory of all the victims. On the occasion, a memorandum of demands was submitted to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Panun Kashmir observed “Balidan Diwas” today by paying floral tributes to all those who became victims of Pak sponsored proxy war and terrorist violence in Kashmir including the members of valiant security forces.
The programme was held under the chairmanship of Virender Raina, chairman, political affairs committee, who while speaking on the occasion, said that it was on this very day that Pt Tika Lal Taploo was martyred on the streets of Kashmir and the day has come to symbolize the resolve and resistance of the Kashmiri Pandits against the genocide perpetrated on them.
On the occasion, a holocaust exhibition was also organized showcasing the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits. The exhibition was meant to tell the younger generations of the persecution that their senior generations have undergone in Kashmir.
Kashmiri Pandit conference (KPC) activists, supporters and sympathizers observed Martyrs Day as “Black Day” by wearing black badge and conducted prayers at respective locations as a mark of protest against the killing of innocent KPs by the pro-Pak terrorists and others during the turmoil in the Valley.
President KPC, Kundan Kashmiri paid rich tribute to all KP Martyrs as well as security forces who laid down their lives for the unity and security of the country. He expressed concern for having political and other situation in Kashmir Valley un-certain and grim, despite of huge financial assistance, liberal annual budget and other special grants for the development of the State, in particular of Kashmir valley.
He impressed upon the Government to hold dialogue with KP community for the grant of “Kashyap Home Land” and serious steps to be taken for abrogate the Article 370, at the earliest which is only viable solution of Kashmiri Pandit problems. He said ignoring and isolating Kashmiri Pandits is not in the interest of the country and further test the tolerance of the KP community could complicate the situation and demoralize the nationalist forces.
Kashmiri Khatri Hindu Maha Sabha (KKHMS), Kashmiri Khatri Yuvak Sabha and Displaced kashmiri Unemployed Youth Union jointly organized a protest demonstration in front of Raj Bhavan, Jammu, under the chairmanship of Ramesh Chander Mahajan, president KKHMS to mark Martyrs Day.
The members of the community in large number assembled and paid homage to the martyrs with two minutes of silence. Thereafter, a rally was taken to Rajinder Canal near RRL Jammu to pay last respect to the martyrs. Rich tributes were also paid to the security personnel who laid their lives while fighting terrorists in the Valley.