“Don’t Orphan Our Children”, Kashmiri Pandits Continue to Protest For Resettlement Outside The Valley

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Jammu, 13th June 2022: Kashmiri Pandit employees held another protest in Jammu on Monday. During this, they said that till peace is restored there, they should be settled outside the valley. Let us inform you that after the targeted killings of Kashmiri Hindus in the past, Dogra and Kashmiri Pandits have demonstrated their demand for the transfer of employees of both the communities posted in the valley.

On Monday, hundreds of workers, both men and women, gathered outside the press club under the banner of ‘All Migrant Employees Association Kashmir’, some of which read, “Don’t rehabilitate us here at the cost of our blood! Our children are orphaned. Don’t! Don’t widow our wives! And the only solution is to relocate somewhere outside the valley.”

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Around 4,000 Kashmiri Pandits are working in various departments in the Valley since they were elected under the Prime Minister’s Employment Package announced in 2008. The package has two major components – one pertains to the provision of 6,000 jobs for youth and the other pertains to 6,000 housing units for employees.

Shweta Bhat, one of the protesters said, “Our protest is part of the ongoing agitation for our relocation from the Valley as we do not feel safe there. We have reached Jammu, while our allies have been protesting in the Valley for the last 31 days”. Rejecting government assurances of shifting to safer places within the Valley, Bhat said, “We are working on the field, feeling depressed and unable to concentrate on our work.”

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They said the protesting workers would not bow to “government lollipops” as our lives are at stake. “Let the government shift us anywhere outside the Valley till the situation normalises,” they said. Bhat said that while all the people living in rented accommodation have reached Jammu, those living in government accommodation have been locked up in transit camps where they are continuing their protest.

Another protester Ajay Kumar said, “We are employees and ready to serve, but the situation is not in our favour. We will return when the government announces that Kashmir has become terrorism free.”