A Kashmiri Hindu group today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to recognize Kashmiri Pandits as internally displaced people and ensure that the property left behind by them in the Valley is protected and illegal occupants removed. “If Kashmiri Hindus lose their temples, houses, and property, their ethnic cleansing will become permanent,” Kashmiri Hindu Foundation said in a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Modi. “Kashmiri Hindus should be recognized as internally displaced people and a declaration should be made to this effect. Implement a plan to ensure that property left behind by the refugees is preserved and protected and illegal occupants removed,” it said.
This plan should also cover those Kashmiri Hindus who have been forced to sign documents of sale under any kind of duress, the foundation said. “Our places of worship have been burnt, vandalized and damaged. We strongly urge the government of India and the state government that our temples and cultural institutions in the Valley be secured, preserved and protected,” said Florida- based Deepak Ganju, head of the foundation. She was here to attend the community event being held in the honor of Modi. “Financial and state support for our socio-cultural- religious organizations, that we have managed to run even in our exile, is required urgently.
State recognition should be given to Kashmiri Pandit writers, artists and social activists and grants should be provided for them to further their work. “Centres need to be built for the preservation of thousands of years of our history, culture, tradition, and works of art,” it said. Ganju said 400,000 Kashmiri Pandits have been forced to leave Valley en-masse. “About 1,200 killed and it goes on with just a few thousand remaining in the Valley,” Ganju added.