Press Trust of india

Migrant KPs seek probe into package for their rehabilitation

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Jammu, Dec 26:  A group of Kashmiri Pandits Wednesday staged a protest outside the Raj Bhavan here, seeking a probe into the 2008 package announced by the then prime minister for the return and rehabilitation of the community in the V.

Dozens of ‘pheran’-clad Kashmiri Pandit migrants, including women, assembled outside the Raj Bhavan under the banner of the Youth All India Kashmiri Samaj (YAIKS) and staged a sit-in, chanting slogans against the failure to utilise the package.

Pheran is a loose gown worn by Kashmiris for warmth during winters.

“Pheran is part of our culture and we staged the pheran-clad protest to press for a probe into the 2008 PM package for our return and rehabilitation in the valley,” YAIKS president R K Bhat, who was leading the protest, told reporters.

He said the probe was imperative to “identify the powers” who created hurdles in the path of implementation of the package.

Bhat claimed that crores of rupees were pumped into the State by the Centre under the package but not a single family was rehabilitated.

Over 3,000 educated youth of the community are ready to serve in the Valley in the larger interest of co-existence, he said, demanding a restructuring of the package after consultation with community leaders.

“We will continue our protest till a probe is ordered,” he said.

A woman protester said the administration had promised them a meeting with Governor Satya Pal Malik after their attempt to march to Srinagar was foiled by police at Tikri near Udhampur in October.

“We have assembled here to wake up the governor, who has turned a blind eye to our plight,” she said, adding that almost three decades have passed since the displacement of the community from the Valley, but no concrete step has been taken for their return and rehabilitation.

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