Panun Kashmir, the umbrella organisation of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, on Thursday demanded that the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution providing special status to Jammu and Kashmir should be scrapped as it promotes separatist tendencies.

The organisation made the demand in its meeting to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Quit India Movement.

Ashwani Charangoo, president of the organisation, said there is an imperative need to rid the people of this nation and particularly the people of the J&K state from this stifling statute which has provided a constitutional mechanism to promote fissiparous and separatist tendencies in the Jammu and Kashmir state. 

The Article 370 has created a state within a state and has provided justification to the so-called sub-nationalism in a section of the population. We appeal to all the nationalist people to rally round this campaign to realize the historical goal for complete and total integration of the Jammu and Kashmir state with the rest of India, he said.

Virender Raina, spokesman of the Panun Kashmir, said that the ethnic cleansing of the Kashmir Pandit community needed to be addressed on all fronts. People responsible for the genocide and forced mass exodus cannot go scot-free. The government has a bounden duty, as has happened in other similar situations around the world, to bring the culprits to justice as soon as possible keeping aside the time factor. Panun Kashmir reiterated its demand for constitution of a judicial commission to go into the excesses committed against the exiled Pandits of Kashmir. The indigenous people of Kashmir, the Kashmiri Pandits are living as refugees in their own country even after 28 years of mass exodus from Kashmir. 

Appreciating the NIA action against the pro-Pakistan separatists, Raina said the actions of the NIA and the other investigating bodies are welcome but they also needed to be taken to the logical conclusion. Panun Kashmir expressed its deep appreciation of the efforts put in by the valiant security forces in Jammu and Kashmir state to eliminate the menace of terrorism. The security grid that has been made operational for cleansing the valley of the scourge of terror is doing an excellent work with the cooperation of Army, paramilitary forces and the JK Police. It is heartening to note that the campaign is yielding the necessary results. This has resurrected the hopes of the nation in context of Jammu and Kashmir and has also instilled confidence in the peace loving society, he added.