Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pandit Population in Valley Shrinks to 4000

Srinagar, March 17, KONS:

A noted Kashmiri Pandit leader, Moti Koul of the Kashmir Sangharsh Samiti, today held the state government responsible for what he termed as the pathetic condition of the community, and declared that the situation was not conducive for the Pandits’ return to the valley.

Addressing a press conference here, Koul said that no attention had been paid to the condition of Pandits living as migrants in different states for the past 18 years.

He said that the Pandit population in the valley had been 20,000 ten years ago, but had now shrunk to a mere 4000.

“Only 200 Pandits were recruited into the government service during the past 17 years. And there is no one to care for the half-burnt Pandit houses, broken down temples and untended lands,” he said.

“The present situation is not conducive for the return of the Pandit community to the valley,” he said.

“The community faces difficulties in livelihood, accommodation and economic matters. Their ancestors had constructed many temples which have been reduced to ruin. The government has paid no attention towards the Pandits’ half-burnt homes, run-down temples and abandoned lands for the past 18 years,” he said.

“There is no one to listen to the travails of the Pandits,” he said.

Koul said that the migration of the Pandits was a serious issue, and that the government had taken no steps for their rehabilitation.


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