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Kashmiri Pandits forced to leave their homes, BJP can’t handle Kashmir, says Arvind Kejriwal

The AAP national convener demanded the Centre make public its plan to deal with the situation in the Valley.

Arvind Kejriwal Kashmiri Pandits

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday claimed Kashmiri Pandits are being forced to leave the Valley due to the targeted killings of minorities and demanded the Centre put forth an action plan to stop such incidents.

Addressing the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) ‘Jan Aakrosh Rally’ at Jantar Mantar here, he said this shows the BJP cannot handle Kashmir and only knows how to do dirty politics.

The chief minister also hit out at Pakistan, accusing it of supporting terror activities in Kashmir.

“I want to tell Pakistan to stop its petty tactics. Kashmir was ours and will always be a part of India…if India decides, then Pakistan will not exist,” he said at the rally held against the targeted killings in Kashmir.

The spate of targeted killings in Kashmir started in May this year which included that of Rahul Bhat, a clerk, who was shot dead inside the tehsildar’s office in Chadoora tehsil of Budgam district.

Of the eight targeted killings since May 1, three victims were off-duty policemen and five were civilians.

Kejriwal said he will seek time from Union Home Minister Amit Shah to discuss the issue and know the Centre’s plan to stop the killings in Kashmir.

He said Kashmiri Pandits are being forced to leave their homes, a repeat of what happened in the 1990s. Whenever the BJP is in power in Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandits are forced to leave the Valley, he alleged.

“This shows the BJP cannot handle Kashmir and it only knows how to do dirty politics. Please do not do politics over Kashmir,” Kejriwal said.

“The BJP government has failed to provide security to Kashmiri Pandits. They do not have any plan but just hold meetings. Many meetings were held on the issue and now everyone wants to know the action plan,” he said.

“Whenever a killing takes place in Kashmir, it is said that the Union home minister is holding a high-level meeting. But where is the action plan? “What is the plan? Kashmir wants an action plan. Yesterday, I saw that a three-hour-long high-level meeting was held. There have been too many meetings. Please take some action on the ground. People are dying,” he added.

The AAP national convener demanded the Centre make public its plan to deal with the situation in the Valley.

“The Centre should tell the public about its plan to tackle the situation in Kashmir, cancel the bond signed with Kashmiri Pandits that says they cannot work outside Kashmir, fulfil all their demands and provide them security,” Kejriwal said.

The security of Kashmiri Pandits living in the Valley was discussed threadbare at a high-level meeting in Delhi on Friday that was chaired by Shah, who took stock of the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, according to officials.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Army Chief General Manoj Pande, and Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha were among those who attended the meeting.

Kejriwal claimed around 4,500 Kashmiri Pandits were rehabilitated and given jobs in the Valley under the PM’s relief plan but they were also made to sign a bond that they cannot work outside Kashmir.

“The bond was that you (Kashmiri Pandits) will be sacked if you ask to be transferred out of Kashmir. You will have to work in Kashmir,” he alleged.

“Kashmiri Pandits are demanding that this bond be cancelled… the entire nation wants this bond to be cancelled. Kashmiri Pandits are not bonded labourers, they are free to work wherever they want,” he said.

Scores of Kashmiri Pandits, who were employed under the prime minister’s package in 2012, have been staging protests threatening mass exodus since the killing of Rahul Bhat on May 12.

Bhat’s killing sparked demonstrations by around 6,000 Kashmiri Pandit employees at various places. They demanded they be relocated outside the Valley.

However, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday made it clear the employees would not be moved out of the Valley but transferred to safer locations.

The Centre transferred 177 Kashmiri Hindus from one place to another in Kashmir only, Kejriwal said.

“BJP people uploaded that list on the social media. Now Kashmiri Pandits are saying that leaking the list is a sort of an invitation to terrorists. All Kashmiri Pandits are opposing this and asking why this list was leaked,” the chief minister said.

The transfer list of 177 Kashmir Pandit teachers is being circulated on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.

Kejriwal along with all those who attended the rally observed a two-minute silence to pay a tribute to those killed by terrorists in Kashmir.

“When Kashmiri Pandits raise their voice to protest the killings, they are locked inside their localities. Kashmiri Pandits only want security and nothing else,” Kejriwal said.

A woman teacher from Samba district of the Jammu region was shot dead by terrorists at a school in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on May 31. On May 18, terrorists entered a wine shop in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district and lobbed a grenade, killing one person from Jammu and injuring three others.

Police constable Saifullah Qadri was shot dead outside his residence in Srinagar on May 24 and TV artiste Amreen Bhat was gunned down in Budgam two days later.

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