Kashmiri Pandits observe ‘Holocaust Day’ to mark 30 years of mass exodus from Valley
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Kashmiri Pandits observe ‘Holocaust Day’ to mark 30 years of mass exodus from Valley

The community leaders demanded a separate homeland within Union Territory for them in the Valley, their settlement at one place within Kashmir and the issuance of a white paper to fix responsibility for their genocide and forced migration.

From holding a demonstration outside Raj Bhavan to taking out a protest march and holding a seminar, the Kashmiri Pandit community observed January 19 as ‘Holocaust Day’ at different places here on Sunday to mark their forced exodus from Kashmir Valley three decades ago.

Recalling their pain and grief while living in exile in Jammu and elsewhere in the country, the community leaders reiterated their demands which included separate homeland within Union Territory for them in the Valley, their settlement at one place within Kashmir and the issuance of a white paper to fix responsibility for their genocide and forced migration.

Panun Kashmir convenor Dr Agnishekhar said the day marks the beginning of “7th exodus of Kashmiri Pandit community” and tells the tale of “perpetual religious persecution and genocide”.

“It is on January 19, 1990, the Islamic Jihad once again unleashed the barbarity and mayhem on spiritual and peace-loving aboriginals of Kashmir Valley,” he said at a seminar oraganised by Panun Kashmir. “The pain and agony of forced displacement has left indelible marks on the psyche of Hindus of Kashmir and last 30 years have added to our festering wounds,” he added.

Hailing the abrogation of Article 370 and amendment in the Citizenship Act, Agnishekhar said these “historical and epochal decisions” taken by the Union government have re-established the faith of entire exiled Hindus of Kashmir.

He reiterated the demand for the creation of a Union Territory for the entire seven lakh migrant Kashmiri Pandits to the east and north of river Vitasta (Jhelum).

Meanwhile, members of All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference led by advocate Ravinder Raina held a demonstration outside Raj Bhavan here to press their demand for issuance of a white paper to fix responsibility for the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits and their mass exodus from the Valley. They demanded their settlement at one place in Kashmir Valley.

Youth wing of All India Kashmiri Samaj took out a procession from Muthi to Janipur on the outskirts of Jammu city. They wore black pherons as a mark of protest and demanded the government to ensure their honorable and dignified settlement in Kashmir.