KPS highlights pressing issues of displaced Pandits

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 20: The Kashmiri Pandit Sabha (KPS) held a meeting under the chairmanship of its president, K. K. Khosa to take stock of the pressing issues being faced by the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community.
While discussing various steps being taken by the UT Government to ease the lives of the community especially the downtrodden section, the members urged the Government to arrange the payment of much delayed relief to mitigate their sufferings immediately.
The members expressed satisfaction over the statement made by the Lt. Governor, Manoj Sinha that GoI and the UT Government are committed to return of Pandits to the Valley while speaking in his monthly program on All India Radio yesterday. Since neither the GoI nor the UT Government have spelt out a well thought out and pragmatic plan for ensuring the return and rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley in a time bound period therefore the community continues to remain confused and sceptical about their future, they added.
They said inspite of umpteen requests made to GoI and UT Government that community representatives should be taken into confidence before finalizing the return policy, no steps have been taken in that direction.
They said in view of this the statements regarding return made from time to time are not reassuring at all and keep the community guessing. The latest step taken to create a Web portal for registration of complaints regarding properties alienated by the Pandits by way of distress sales etc. is a good step but again return policy cannot remain hostage to removal of encroachments and restoration of properties to the original owners, they said.
They said it is essential that decent accommodation be created for the entire KP community so that they have a place where they can move and settle down with dignity and honour and a full sense of security. Most of the KPs who were hounded out in 1990 were living in their own houses having decent accommodation. Any further delay in framing return policy will be detrimental to the safety of our culture and identity.
The meeting was attended by J. L. Zutshi, S. L. Bagati, G.J. Kampassi, Ashok Khar, Subash Dhar, B. L. Tiku, Jitender Parimoo, Rajinder Tiku, Anil Wakhloo, Dr. Usha Tickoo, Asha Kitchloo, Deepak Dhar, Verinder Raina, Vijay Kr. Mukhi and others.