Kashmir Indepth

Kashmiri Pandits feeling more secure of late, many have returned to valley: Govt

New Delhi, July 28 ( KINS ) : Kashmiri Pandits have been feeling “more secure” and over 3,800 youngsters from the community have moved back to Kashmir recently to take up jobs provided as part of the prime minister”s rehabilitation package, the government informed Parliament on Wednesday.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said this in a written reply to a question put to his ministry in the Rajya Sabha.

He was asked a clutch of questions on Kashmiri Pandits such as whether the government is aware that many of them have become “insecure” in the last few years, the number of Kashmiri Pandit and Dogra Hindu families currently staying in the Kashmir valley and their demands from the government.

“As per the report of the Relief Office set up in 1990 by the government of Jammu and Kashmir, 44,167 Kashmiri migrant families are registered, who had to move from the valley since 1990 due to security concerns.

“Out of these, the count of registered Hindu migrant families is 39,782,” the minister stated.

“Kashmiri Pandits have felt more secure in the recent past, as evident from the fact that 3,841 Kashmiri migrants youth have moved back to Kashmir and have taken up jobs in various districts of Kashmir under the Prime Minister”s rehabilitation package,” he said. Rai added that another 1,997 candidates were selected for jobs under the same package in April and they will be moving to Kashmir soon.

“It is also pertinent to mention that as many as 26,684 Kashmiri migrant youth showed interest in going back to the valley by applying for the above referred 1,997 posts, which were advertised by the Jammu and Kashmir”s recruitment board in December, 2020.

“The government has also prepared a comprehensive policy to provide residential accommodation to these Kashmiri migrants who have moved back to Kashmir,” Rai said. He said 6,000 residential units are being constructed for them at an “accelerated pace” and 1,000 residential units are already being used by these employees. The minister also gave the number of these families based in the valley.

“Approximately 900 such families, including Kashmiri Pandit and Dogra Hindu families, are residing in Kashmir. “As regards those who never migrated from Kashmir, the government allowed their inclusion in the jobs package for Kashmiri migrants,” he said.

Besides, they are getting all the benefits of government schemes along with others in Kashmir, Rai added. The government has taken “necessary steps” to protect the life and property of people and these include proactive operations against terrorists, identification and arrest of overground workers or supporters of terrorism, action against members of banned organisations, intensified night patrolling checking at nakas, security arrangements through appropriate deployment, coordination meetings amongst intelligence agencies and maintaining a high level of alertness, he stated. (Agencies)

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