Kashmiri Pandits Fighting to Return Home, 26 Years After Exodus
On January 19, 1990, thousands of Kashmiri Pandits – the only Hindu community native to the state – were forced to flee from the Kashmir valley after repeated threats from Muslim radicals.
January 19, 2016, marks the 26th anniversary of their exodus from Kashmir. In remembrance of that dark day, #KPExodusDay is trending on social media, bringing attention to the incident that not only displaced many but also killed hundreds.
Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah, whose father Farooq Abdullah was the chief minister during the exodus, tweeted about the incident.
Social activist and filmmaker Ashoke Pandit tweeted in response to Omar.
Prominent figures across the country took to social media to draw attention to the event that left countless families in shambles.
The Pandit community continues to fight to return to the Valley, with many of them living as refugees. Some of the Kashmiri Pandit families that still live in the Valley are protesting against the failure of the state and central governments to rehabilitate the displaced.
People are also protesting at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
After years of living as refugees in their own country, the idea of ‘separate’ settlements for Kahmiri Pandits in Kashmir has stirred a controversy. Almost all political parties have verbally backed the return of the Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley, but minimal political efforts have been made so far.
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