NEW DELHI: Taking a dig at certain political leaders, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that those who were responsible for the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, are now shedding crocodile tears and demanding an enquiry into the geonicide and killings of Kashmir Pandits.
He said, it is hilarious to see that after the release of ” Kashmir Files”, some of the leaders who were an essential part of the ruling dispensation over the last 20 years, but are today either out of power or have defected to other political parties, now ask for instituting an enquiry without explaining as to why when they were at the helm of affairs for over three decades, even the daylight killers of Tika Lal Taploo, Lassa Kaul or Sqd Leader Khanna went scotfree.
Speaking as chief guest at a programme organised by “Vishwa Kashmiri Samaj”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it is a matter of vindication for BJP that some leaders of the then ruling parties are today speaking the same language which the BJP spoke even 25 years ago, but at that time these same leaders accused BJP of indulging in so called divisive politics. He said, history bears testimony that the then ruling political parties and their leaders benefitted from Kashmiri Pandit exodus and the overwhelming atmosphere of terror that followed because it facilitated their continuance in power.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, he and several other youth activists of his generation were eye-witness to each sequence of exodus beginning from the arrival of first batches of Kashmiri Pandits at Geeta Bhawan Jammu and makeshift Camps at Mishriwala and Nagrota, where they lived in most unhygienic conditions with the drains passing through the kitchen area and hardly any toilet facility available. It was pathetic to see upper middle class Kashmiri Pandit families forced to live in a makeshift single room shed without any basic amenities.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, he vividly recalls the summer of 1990 which was most harsh for the displaced Kashmiri Pandits who had never the seen the summer of plains, as a result of which there were a series of Heat Stroke cases happening, and as as a young medico, he and his colleagues would physically lift heat struck Kashmiri Pandits and place them on ice-slabs.
On the occasion, the Union Minister also felicitated winners of a ‘Letter Writing Competition for KP Children Who Never Lived in Kashmir’ organised by Global Solace (NGO) Jammu with Vishwa Kashmiri Samaj and other partners sometime back. The theme of competition was, ‘My Kashmir, My Roots: My Dream, Sweet Home’. He also released the Calendar, Book and Panchang (almanac) prepared by Puneet Jotshi.
The event was also addressed by Chander Mohan, Mayor, Jammu and Raj Nehru, Vice Chancellor, Vishwakarma Skill University,Haryana.
Vishwa Kashmiri Samaj (VKS) Convenor Er Kiran Wattal, in his welcome address, said that VKS is a socio-cultural voluntary organisation spread all over the globe and headquartered at Jammu. It has been engaged in the smooth conduct to Mata Kheer Bhawani Yatra for past several years and used this occasion to galvanise pilgrims as the annual yatra will resume this year, after a gap of two years. The group is also supporting community programs in the fields of healthcare, education,religious pilgrimage and other social and cultural networking, he explained.
Wattal also demanded tabling and passage of temples and shrines bill and constituting an independent board on the lines of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.
Among those felicitated on the occasion included community hotelier Ramesh Kumar Kichloo, Shali Rupali , Vanshikha Bhat and Sagar Koul.
Vote of thanks was presented by Kanwal Peshin, Founder, Athrott Group.