Twenty eight years ago on 19th January 1990, Kashmiri Hindus/Pandits were given 24 hours eviction notice by terrorist organizations. It was the day when the threats of convert, die or escape replaced the sounds of evening Azaan from the majority of mosques in the Valley in Kashmir. People recall the horror of waking up to hear this command and the fear of death that was put into their hearts . To safeguard their lives they had no choice but to leave their homeland.
In 1990 over 400,000 Kashmiri Hindus/Pandits were forced to leave their homeland through a genocidal campaign unleashed by the militants. The findings of the National Human Rights Commission of India is on record, having stated that the circumstances that forced out the entire minority of Kashmiri Pandits/Hindus from their homeland are akin to genocide. This can be seen as a serious indictment of the J&K Government’s responsibility of that time. Subsequently, neither the State Government nor the Central Government have taken cognizance of the NHRC’s findings. We believe this also contributed to the neglect and apathy shown towards the displaced community for the last 28 years. They were made homeless overnight on 19th January 1990 and since then they have been moving from pillar to post, demanding their fundamental rights.
Thousands of Kashmiri Pandit youths are getting scattered in various parts of the country in search of their livelihood and the cohesiveness of the families is fast disappearing. It is feared at the present rate of dispersal and losing its natural habitat the community is disintegrating beyond redemption and facing extinction.
The Kashmiri Hindus living in the West are greatly concerned about the issues of Kashmiri Hindus/Pandits extinction in Jammu & Kashmir and in the other parts of India due to the conditions created by their forced exile from the Valley.
The rich cultural heritage of Kashmiri Hindus is in decline, Hindu places of worship in the Valley have been burnt down, vandalised and damaged. There has been a complete lack of prosecution of terrorists and militants, including those who openly admitted to the killing of Kashmiri Hindus. Such terrorists should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The terrorist groups responsible for the continued cross-border terrorism should be brought to justice
We urge both Governments, the J&K and the Central Governments, to take immediate measures to prepare a comprehensive blueprint for Kashmiri Pandits/Hindus resettlement and rehabilitation in the Valley.
Indo-European Kashmir Forum (IEKF), based in the UK, is the voice of the displaced Kashmiri Hindus in India and in the Kashmir Valley. The Organisation was founded in the late eighties with the support of the wider Indian communities. The Forum highlights the plight of Kashmiri Hindus who have become victims of terrorism. It also investigates violations of human rights of Kashmiri Hindus at the hands of terrorists organisations.
President of the Indo European Kashmiri Forum