Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits

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Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits


The Genocide of Kashmiri Hindus who are also called Kashmiri Pandits, was seventh ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits by radical Islamists in Kashmir Valley. More than 500000 Kashmiri Pandits migrated during the period of few weeks in 1990. They have now become refugees in their own country.

Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits

One of the many camps of Kashmiri Pandit refugees who fled Kashmir Valley during 1990 genocide

One of the many camps of Kashmiri Pandit refugees who fled Kashmir Valley during 1990 genocide

Slogan Used Ralive, Tsaliv ya Galive (convert to Islam, leave the place or die)
Deaths More than 36,289 (As of December 2003)
Attack Type Murder, arson, rape, assassinations, kidnappings, riots
Target Kashmiri Hindus
Migration 150,000–300,000 (Official figure)
Location Kashmir Valley, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Motive Jihad, Islamisation, secession from India, merger with Pakistan, Hinduphobia, imposition of Sharia law

The Genocide of Kashmiri Hindus who are also called Kashmiri Pandits, was seventh ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits by radical Islamists in Kashmir Valley around 1990. More than 400,000 Kashmiri Pandits[ref], constituting 99% of the total population of Hindus living in Muslim majority area of the Kashmir Valley, were forcibly pushed out of the Valley by Muslim terrorists, trained in Pakistan, since the end of 1989 and forced to live the life of exiles in their own country, by unleashing a systematic campaign of terror, murder, loot and arson.[ref] Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits has reached its climax with Muslim terrorism succeeding in 'CLEANSING' the valley of this ancient ethno-religious community. With the completion of fifth year of their forced exile, this peace loving, culturally rich community with a history of more than 5000 years, is fighting a grim battle to save itself from becoming extinct as a distinct race and culture.

Since late 1989, the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has been in the grip of a vicious movement of Islamist extremist terrorism. As many as 36,289 (till December 30, 2003) lives have been lost[ref] in this conflict over nearly 14 years of a sub-conventional civilizational war that has inflicted enormous suffering on the people of the State. Among the worst victims of this conflict are the Kashmiri Pandits, descendents of Hindu priests and among the original inhabitants of the Kashmir Valley, with a recorded history of over 5,000 years. Over the millennia, this community has been integral not only to the cultural and intellectual life of the people of this region, but the bulwark of its administration and economic development as well. The Pandits have now become the targets and victims of one of the most successful, though little-known, campaigns of ethnic cleansing in the world. Pogroms of a far lesser magnitude in other parts of the world have attracted international attention, censure and action in support of the victim communities, but this is an insidious campaign that has passed virtually unnoticed, and on which the world remains silent. Among the complex reasons for this neglect is, perhaps, the nature of this community itself: where other campaigns of ethnic cleansing have invariably provoked at least some retaliatory violence, the deep tradition and culture of non-violence among the Kashmiri Pandits has made them accept their suffering in silence, with not a single act of retaliatory violence on record.[ref]
A majority of the Pandit refugees still live in refugee camps with spiralling health and economic problems. Approximately 2,17,000 Pandits still live in abysmal conditions in Jammu with families of five to six people often huddled into a small room.[ref][ref][ref]

Background

At first Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), the founding leader of Jamat opposed direct involvement as it would destroy the organization and open it to Indian assault by security forces. It was at this meeting that pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani suddenly appeared and made a passionate plea for openly supporting jihad in Kashmir.[ref][ref]
On the day of 8 December 1989, the kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed was carried out by members of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), a Kashmiri terrorist separatist organisation, in Jammu and Kashmir. Rubaiya was the daughter of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, then the Home minister of India in the Janata Dal government led by V. P. Singh. The kidnappers demanded the release of five of their members in exchange for Rubaiya's release. The Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah In agreement with the Central government accepted their demands and freed the jailed terrorists. This decision had helped catalyse the Kashmir genocide's bloody 1990s chapter. Major media outlets have that the kidnapping was a fake one as the kidnapping took place just after 5 days Sayeed took the office.[ref] It is widely aggreed now that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had links with JKLF and other terrorist organisations. Former Union Minister Arif Mohammad Khan, who was a part of Prime Minister V.P. Singh’s Cabinet, said that his then colleague, Sayeed, appeared to have protected terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir.[ref][ref]
 
JKLF targeted a Kashmiri Hindu for the first time on 14 September 1989, when they killed Tika Lal Taploo, a lawyer and a prominent leader of Bharatiya Janata Party in Jammu and Kashmir, in front of several eyewitnesses.[ref]
 
Leaders of Jammu and Kashmir knew earlier what was going to happen within few weeks. In order to get out of blame, Chief Minister Farookh Abdullah and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed convinced Prime Minister V.P. Singh to appoint Jagmohan as the governor of the state. V. P. Singh appointed Jagmohan as Governor on 19 January 1990. In response, Abdullah resigned on the same day and Jagmohan suggested the dissolution of the State Assembly.

Major Incidents

Murder of Tika Lal Taploo

Murder of Neelkanth Ganjoo

Rawalpora shooting

Murder of Sarwanand Kaul Premi

 

Comparison With Holocaust

Many scholars and media houses have compared the genocide with that of Holocaust. Several migrant organisations like Panun Kashmir, Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD), Kashmir Pandit Sabha (KPS), Youth All India Kashmiri Samaj (YAIKS), Save Sharda Committee (SSC) and All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference (ASKPC) held programmes on the day of 19 January to observe Holocaust Day and to pay tributes to the victims and to reaffirm commitment to the cause of the Kashmiri Pandits.[ref][ref][ref] Events were also held at Jagti and Muthi migrant camps. The day marks the beginning of the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits on a mass scale that ultimately culminated in the complete exodus of the aboriginal indigenous people that represented a civilisation that was more than 5,000 years old.

Efforts Of Rehabilitation

The Pandits have rejected rehabilitation proposals to Valley several times, indicating that they were not willing to become ‘cannon-fodder’ for politicians who cannot guarantee their security. The Pandits insist that they will return to the Valley only when they are able to determine that the situation is conducive to their safety. "We cannot go back in the conditions prevailing in Kashmir. We will go back on our own terms," Kashmiri Samiti president Sunil Shakdher said in August 2002 in response to the then Farooq Abdullah regime’s proposed rehabilitation agenda. At the minimum level, these terms would include security to life and property and, at a broader level, a consensual rehabilitation scheme.[ref]

In Popular Culture

The Kashmir Files

 

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