As Kashmiri Pandits on Friday observed the 29th “holocaust day” in Jammu to mark their migration from Kashmir valley, separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq urged them to return and live among their “Muslim brethren” with dignity.

The Mirwaiz, while delivering sermons during the Friday prayers at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, remarked that. Kashmir belonged as much to them (Pandits) as to us”.
He said the Pandits left the valley under some odd circumstances and in his capacity as Mirwaiz that he was urging them to return.

He described the exodus of Pandits from the valley as a humane problem while expressing confidence that Muslims would welcome them with open arms if they returned and started living as they did before 1990 (when large-scale migration took place).

Mirwaiz urged India and Pakistan to stop the senseless killing of soldiers and civilians on both sides of LoC and get together to resolve the Kashmir dispute.

Meanwhile, members of the Kashmiri Pandit community held a demonstration outside the Raj Bhavan here to mark the “holocaust day” of the displaced Pandit community.

They raised slogans against the fundamentalist-terrorist combine in Kashmir, castigating them for genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Pandit and Sikh community from the valley in 1989-90. They white robes and held placards depicting mass exodus and ethnic cleansing of the community.

Panun Kashmir leaders, Ashwani Chrungoo, Ravinder Raina, All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference, Swami Kumar ji, Chandji Bhat, President, BJP Displaced Unit District President, Vinod Pandit, President, APMCC, Rakesh Kaul. Sheila Handoo, were among those who addressed the demonstrating Kashmiri Pandits.

Chrungoo, President said that Kashmiri Pandit community cannot afford to ignore the scars of history and 19th January is an important date for the community to learn lessons for the future. We are deeply rooted in the ethos of Kashmir as a living civilization and the Kashmiri Pandits have an inalienable right on the land of Kashmir.

There can be no compromise on the issue of our claim as the rightful stakeholders to the land of Kashmir. Homeland demand depicts the core geo-political aspirations of the displaced community and it is the Margdarshan resolution that has a complete blue print available for the resettlement of the community back in Kashmir.

He appealed to the government of India to set up a Special Crimes Tribunal in context of the crimes committed against the minorities in Kashmir and book those responsible for the heinous crimes. We demand that the governments at the Centre and the State should initiate a serious dialogue process with the representatives of the community in context of their resettlement in the valley.