'No Kashmiri Pandit Left Valley Since 2019': MoS Home Ministry Tells Parliament
However, hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits left the Valley in 2022 alone, after the targeted killings in May and June.
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Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, on Wednesday, 20 July, claimed that "no Kashmiri Pandit has reportedly migrated from the valley" between 5 August 2019 to 20 July 2022.
His response on Day 3 of the Parliament's Monsoon Session comes after hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits left the Valley this year alone due to the spate of targeted killings in May and June.
Meanwhile, others from the community had claimed that they were not allowed to leave by security forces despite wanting to.
"The Government has a policy of zero tolerance against terrorism and the security situation has improved significantly in Jammu and Kashmir. There has been substantial decline in terrorist attacks from 417 in 2018 to 229 in 2021," Rai added in a written response to Congress Rajya Sabha MP Digvijay Singh.
He further said that 128 security force personnel and 118 civilians had been killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Out of 118 civilians killed, 5 were Kashmiri Pandits and 16 belonged to other Hindu/Sikh communities," he claimed.
"Under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP), 5502 Kashmiri Pandits have been provided Government jobs in different departments of Govt. of Jammu and Kashmir in the valley," Rai added in his response.
The Plight of Kashmiri Pandits in 2022
The attack on Kashmiri Pandits since May included that on Rahul Bhat, a clerk who was shot dead inside the tehsildar's office in Chadoora; Rajni Bala, a Hindu teacher who was killed on her way to work; Vijay Kumar, a bank employee from Rajasthan who was shot dead at his office in Kulgam; and Dilkhush Kumar, a brick kiln labourer, who was also fired at in central Kashmir. The gunfire injured another labourer at the kiln.
Three of the victims in eight such incidents in Kashmir since 1 May were off-duty police officers while five were civilians.
Thereafter, as fear gripped members of the community, many of them left the Valley for Jammu district demanding relocation.
Several government employees have also left Kashmir, putting the jobs package for Kashmiri Pandits provided by the Centre in 2021, at risk.
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