PAGD urges Kashmiri pandit employees not to leave valley; Delegations meet LG, raises security issue
Srinagar: The Gupkar alliance of several political parties on Sunday urged Kashmiri pandit employees not to leave the valley as it was their home and it would be “painful for all”, after the community demanded their relocation following the killing of a member by terrorists.
The appeal by the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) came after a delegation led by its president Farooq Abdullah met Jammu and Kashmiri Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at the Raj Bhavan here.
The meeting was over the issue of security of Kashmiri pandit employees in the aftermath of the killing of Rahul Bhat that has sparked protests by community members.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, the spokesperson of the five-party alliance, M Y Tarigami, said the valley is as much the home of Kashmiri Pandits as it is of Kashmiri Muslims.
“We appeal to them that this nation is yours as well as mine. Do not leave your home. It is very painful for you and us,” Tarigami said.
The alliance spokesperson said if Kashmiri Pandits want to leave Kashmir in the wake of Bhat’s killing, then what about the families of slain Kashmiri Muslims.
“If Rahul was killed, Riyaz (a policeman) was also killed. Where will Riyaz’s family and relatives go? You (Kashmiri Pandits) do not have to leave your home. This is your home, this is my home. We will bear this tragedy together and try to safeguard each other,” he said.
The CPI(M) leader said the alliance raised the issue of the transfer of the employees to safer places.
However, there is no possibility of their transfer outside Kashmir, he said.
“We told them (a delegation of KP employees which the PAGD leaders met on Saturday) that we cannot afford to let them leave. The LG also agreed to that today,” he said.
He said while the protection of the minority communities in every society was the responsibility of the governments, the people “cannot afford to oblige those who want to disturb our unity”.
The delegation told Sinha that sufficient protection must be provided to the employees at their workplaces as well as wherever they live and all possible assistance be provided to them so that they live here with a sense of security, he said.
“We told the LG that it was not possible for them to work in remote areas, so relocate them to the areas where there is full security, so that they feel confident about their well being. We also told the LG to provide safer accommodation to them. The LG has agreed to it,” Tarigami said.
He said the meeting with Sinha was “useful” and “productive”.
Apart from Abdullah, who is also the president of the National Conference, the delegation comprised PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, Tarigami, NC MP Hasnain Masoodi and Awami National Conference senior vice president Muzaffar Shah.