29, Sep 2020 | CJP Team
The fast-unto-death started by Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS) president Sanjay Tickoo on September 20, 2020, enters its tenth day on September 29. He was also joined by Sandeep Koul on September 24. The medical condition of both men is deteriorating.
According to a press release by KPSS on Monday, Tickoo is experiencing “acute physical weakness”, his blood pressure has dropped and his immune system has weakened. They released a picture where Tickoo can be seen lying down in protest with a saline drip. Koul is also showing similar symptoms though he remains stable.
CJP stands with the KPSS in seeking an immediate redressal of all grievances, jobs for 600 non-migrant KP youth in the Valley, a monthly cash relief package for the most needy families, and preservation of cultural and religious sites in the Valley. Join CJP in this campaign as we stand with the Kashmiri Pandit community in Jammu and Kashmir. To help us advocate for their safety and rights, please donate generously here.
The statement reflects the KPSS’s frustration with the inaction on part by government agencies, particularly the Relief Department that is tasked with providing the urgent reliefs sought by the group in multiple memoranda to various authorities. It says, “Completed 192 hours of Fast-Unto-Death at Shri Sidhi Vinayak Ganesh Mandir, Ganpatyaars, Habaa Kadal, Srinagar Kashmir but the administration is still silent on the issue and are playing with the life and sentiments of the left out Kashmiri Pandit / Kashmiri Hindus living in Kashmir Valley. Rather, stooges of the local administration are busy in sharing rumors trying to discredit every attempt which KPSS do for the rehabilitation of 808 Non-Migrant Kashmiri Pandit / Kashmiri Hindu families living in Kashmir Valley.”
It adds, “Kashmiri Pandits / Kashmiri Hindus faced isolation since 2014 and since August 2019 we became invisible for the administration. Officers and officials of DMRR&R have hijacked the entire relief and rehabilitation of Non-Migrant Kashmiri Pandits / Kashmiri Hindus under some vicious and sadistic agenda and are misleading their superiors and media.”
The KPSS has, since June 2020, sent 110 memoranda demanding urgent relief for the community that has been struggling with poverty, deprivation, alienation and unemployment ever since the Kashmiri Pandit exodus in the late 80s and early 90s. While migrant KP families still have access to certain benefits and provisions, non-migrant families have been forced to fend for themselves. The Relief Department has failed to act despite orders of the J&K High Court and also the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The KPSS have reiterated their demands via a charter:
1) KPSS demand Vigilance inquiry against the officers/officials of the Relief Department for deliberately stalling and sabotaging Relief and Rehabilitation of Non-Migrant Kashmiri Pandits – Kashmiri Hindus living in Kashmir Valley and misusing their official positions to harm Kashmiri Pandits – Kashmiri Hindus living in Kashmir Valley.
2) Implementation of Hon’ble High Court directions and recommendations of the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding Jobs to the unemployed educated Kashmiri Pandit/Kashmiri Hindu youths.
3) DMRR&R deliberately delayed the process by more than four years as such give one-time age relaxation to all the over-age candidates’ w.e.f. 31.05.2016 (date of the judgment passed by Hon’ble High Court in OWP 1986/2013 titled Kashmiri Pandit Sangarash Samiti and others Vs. Union of India and others)
4) Easy and stress-free process of providing Bonafide Certificates to all the aspirants (Non-Migrant Kashmiri Pandits / Kashmiri Hindus) as per SRO 425 dated 10.10.2017.
5) Monthly Financial Aid to 808 Non-Migrant Kashmiri Pandit – Kashmiri Hindu families living in Kashmir Valley.
6) Providing accommodation to all deserving Non-Migrant Kashmiri Pandit – Kashmiri Hindu families living in Kashmir Valley as per recommendations of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
7) Extension of benefits of Migrant Welfare Fund to the Non-Migrant Kashmiri Pandits – Kashmiri Hindus living in Kashmir Valley.
The entire press release may be read here: