New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) wants the Narendra Modi government to create separate colonies in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to accommodate Kashmiri Pandits.
This is part of a ‘wishlist’ that the RSS has recently sent to the government on behalf of the Kashmiri Pandits, ThePrint has learnt.
“Kashmiri Pandits should be rehabilitated with foolproof security. They should be kept together in two or three designated colonies,” a senior RSS functionary told ThePrint.
“The government should ensure their complete security. They should also get equal opportunity of employment,” said the functionary, who did not wish to be named.
The Modi government’s decision to scrap Article 370 had given rise to new hope among the community that it would take some solid steps for their relocation. Little, however, has moved on that front.
The RSS is now stepping up pressure on the Modi government to ensure that the Kashmiri Pandits are allowed to return to the Valley. The Sangh’s latest move comes after its chief Mohan Bhagwat highlighted the issue in his annual Dussehra speech at Nagpur on 8 October.
Lauding the scrapping of Article 370, Bhagwat had said, “This effort will come to fruition only when justice denied under the influence of Article 370 is restored, injustices occurred are brought to an end. It will happen when our Kashmiri Pandits who were unjustly driven away are brought back and rehabilitated and allowed to remain secure, fearless, patriotic and Hindu.”
What RSS wants for Kashmiri Pandits
The senior RSS functionary told ThePrint that organisation was satisfied by the steps taken by the Modi government to resolve the Kashmir problem but now wants it to take “solid steps” to ensure displaced Kashmiri Pandits return to the Valley.
He added that the organisation has sent suggestions to the government.
In this, the RSS has listed security as its primary concern for Kashmiri Pandits. It has called on the central and UT governments to create a law that will guarantee the security of relocated Kashmiris. “They should not face any kind of inconvenience in security-related matters,” its charter states.
The Sangh also wants special colonies for the community. “Resettling them in a scattered manner will create greater security risks. Some colonies are indeed being created but there are two families living in one flat,” its document reads.
The RSS also also wants the government to decide as to how the returning Pandits will be able to earn their livelihood. “Employment opportunity according to their eligibility should be made available to them,” it has said.
The organisation has further urged the Modi government to engage with organisations working for Kashmiri Pandits to assess the damage to properties previously held by the community. “The illegally occupied properties should be traced and efforts should be made to determine as to how they can be returned to the Kashmiri Pandits,” it has said.
Other senior functionaries said they also want the government to work out a strategy to “change the perception of local Kashmiris” towards the Pandits.