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While displaced Hindus seek their share of Kashmir

While displaced Hindus seek their share of Kashmir

Author: Aasha Khosa
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: July 1, 2000

The displaced community of Kashmiri Hindus have stepped up their campaign to secure `homeland' within the Valley following the Farooq Abdullah Government's demand for greater political autonomy to the state.

Dr Ajay Chrangoo, leader of the Pannun Kashmir, premier organisation of the displaced community on Thursday warned Central leaders of dangerous consequences over ``giving legitimacy to the NC's demands in preference for demands of minorities (of J&K) who have been demanding state's integration with the country''.  He accused the BJP government of using ``Kashmiri Pandits plight for securing votes in rest of the country.

Chrangoo asked the Central Government to explain why only importance was being given to separatist tendencies be it Hurriyat's demands or the National Conference-led autonomy campaign.  He asked the Vajpayye Government to explain wether it was wilting under pressure from America, which is said to have favoured autonomy as a solution to the Kashmir imbroglio.

Chrangoo warned that if the minorities' point of view on J&K autonomy was ignored again, communities opposed to autonomy would be forced to seek external help in frustration''.

Making the demand for creation of ``Pannun Kashmir'', a homeland within Kashmir Valley for all those who had upheld and wished to live within the ambit of the Indian Constitution, Chrangoo said ``our demand should also get the same consideration and support as the autonomy demands''.

C L Gadoo, leader of the pro-BJP Kashmir Samiti told The Indian Express the confusion in the Centre over responsding to the NC demand smacked of a gameplan.  ``We are shocked but I feel the consequences are not only for the Kashmiri Pandits and minorities to bear but the entire country''.  He said the Samiti plans to launch a information initiative to educate Indians about the real designs of the J&K Government in asking for greater autonomy.

Accsuing the BJP Government of pandering to the Kashmiri Muslim sentiments by not spelling out its ideological stand on the autonomy issue, Dr Chrangoo said, ``autonomy is a gameplan of American interests and pan-Islamic elements and Government of India is willingly playing into their hands''.

Gadoo, who enjoys proximity to senior BJP leaders said of late the community leaders had stopped interacting with either the Prime Minister or the Home Minister.  ``The Prime Minister has been inaccessible to us while we don't feel like going to Advaniji ever since he has started openly patronising Dr.  Abdullah and ignoring Kashmiri Pandits,'' Gadoo said.  ``We don't figure in their scheme of things and so the best thing for us to do is to arouse consciousness among the Indian public about the Kashmir gameplan.''

In a hard-hitting statement, the Pannun Kashmir has accused the government of India of misleading the country by giving an impression that the autonomy demand was within the ambit of the Indian Constitution.  ``NC wants to exclude J&K from basic parameters of THE Indian Constitution'', Chrangoo said.

Dr Shakti Bhan, leader of the womens' wing of the Pannun Kashmir said the autonomy demand would create an `independent' territory on the northern borders of India and nobody would be able to stop the balkanisation of the country.  ``NC is entrusting defence to the Indian Government but why should an Indian soldier feel motivated to fight for Kashmir when he cannot even live there''.

Dr Nancy Koul, another Pannun leader said efforts were afoot to unite different organisations of the displaced kashmiris.  The Pannun Kashmir leaders said a joint formu of Ladakhi Buddhists, Jammu students and displaced Kashmiris has been launched and a joint strategy for agitation over the NC's demand was being planned shortly.

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