18:23 GMT12 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Several thousand Hindus in India’s Kashmir had to flee their homes in the late 1980s and early 1990s as they were targeted by militant groups in the region. They were temporarily given shelters in the Jammu region and other parts of the country, including the national capital.

    A portion of Kashmiri Hindus that relocated to India’s national capital are up in arms against the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for “deliberately ignoring their demands”.

    Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, Satish Mahaldar, chairman of the Reconciliation, Return and Rehabilitation of Kashmir Migrants accused political parties of only paying “lip service” to their community.

    "Everyone has been promising us a return to the Valley but no one actually worked for it. In January this year, when the entire cabinet was travelling around the former J&K state no minister visited the migrant camps for the community in Jammu. This shows we are deliberately ignored by them", Mahaldar said.

    Mahaldar alleged that Kashmiri Pandits (as Hindus from Kashmir are called) were forced out of their homes and now have to live like refugees in their own country and no political party or human rights organisation has taken up their cause.

    The latest demand by Kashmiri Hindus stems from their hope to return home since the region is now directly governed by the federal government after the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 was removed.

    Mahaldar said his group would give a memorandum to Prime Minister Modi for early resettlement of displaced Hindus in Kashmir. He said that while dozens of ministers have visited the Kashmir region recently, none turned up to look at the plight of Kashmiri refugees in camps in the Jammu region.

    During Prime Minister Modi’s celebrated visit to Houston in the United States in September 2019, a delegation of Kashmiri Hindus met and thanked him for abrogating Article 370. The delegation had also submitted a memorandum to Modi, seeking early repatriation of about a million Hindus forced to abandon their homes and take shelter in camps outside Kashmir.   

    Modi during his campaign for the 2019 elections to the Lok Sabha had said “They (Kashmiri Hindus) had to leave their homes and flee out of fear and terrorism, India can never forget this".

    In 1995, India’s federal human rights watchdog, the National Human Rights Commission had in a full-commission judgement called the systematic ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits by terrorists an act of genocide.


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    New Delhi, Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), Hindus, Jammu and Kashmir, India
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