23, Sep 2020 | CJP Team
As the Fast-unto-Death of Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS) President Sanjay Tickoo entered its fourth day, the organisation denounced the apathy of officials of the Disaster Management Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (DMRR&R) Department of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
Tickoo had, in an interview to us on Tuesday, said, “We have visited them many times, but they remain arrogant. Plus, every time we have sent a memorandum or representation to any authority, we have sent it to the Relief Department as well. Yet they have failed to act. In fact, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had on June 23 asked them to expedite the selection process for jobs for eligible non-migrant Kashmiri Pandit youths as per the government scheme. However, they have not taken any action! It makes one wonder if the Relief Department officials are deliberately ignoring us. I wonder if all our memorandums are just thrown into the dustbin!”
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.
In a press statement issued on Wednesday, KPSS added to this saying, “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. Despite Two Parliamentary Standing Committees recommendations, three speaking orders/judgments from Hon’ble High Court in different petitions and two recommendations from the Ministry of Home Affairs mean nothing to DMRR&R.”
The KPSS also alleges, “In order to save themselves from inquiry they have started to manufacture stories and manipulate facts. Massive malpractices are going on in the DMRR&R Department and every officer and officials misuse his official position for some vested interests. For more than two years, the officers and officials of the DMRR&R Department have come up with excuses and delaying tactics to sabotage the recommendations and directions of the higher authorities.”
It is noteworthy that despite the forced exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the region in the late 80s and early 90s, even today 808 families remain, living in over 200 locations across the Valley. At least 150 of them are Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, struggling for food and medical care. Unemployment is a huge concern, despite a 2016 J&K High Court order to implement employment schemes for eligible youth. It is the non-implementation of these schemes that have exacerbated the suffering of the community as it directly impacts their economic condition.
The KPSS has now released a series of orders passed by various authorities that have been allegedly ignored by the DMRR&R department. The orders may be viewed here:
KPSS begins fast-unto-death
Kashmiri Pandit delegation meets J&K LG
Here’s why non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits feel betrayed
Teesta Setalvad in Conversation with Sanjay Tickoo
CJP demands justice for non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits