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No going back on plan to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits: Rajnath

Source: PTI
April 09, 2015 15:05 IST
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Different voices on settlement of Kashmiri migrants emerged within People’s Democratic party-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday hinting that there was no going back on the plans for separate settlement for the displaced community in the Valley.

"I don't want to go into details. Whatever decision was taken by the central government for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits...the decision remains the same. We had a good talk with the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir (on this issue)," he told media persons.

His remarks came in the wake of assertions by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in the assembly earlier in the day that there were no plans for a separate cluster for Kashmiri Pandits.

On Tuesday at a meeting in New Delhi, Singh had asked Sayeed to provide land in the state for composite townships for Kashmiri Pandits. The chief minister assured the Home minister that the state government will acquire and provide land at the earliest for composite townships in the valley.

"Don't worry, we are concerned about the security of Kashmiri Pandits and the people living there. We will prepare an action plan keeping in mind all these things," Singh said on the sidelines of a Central Reserve Police Force function while reacting to Sayeed's statement in the assembly.

Clarifying his government's stand in the assembly, Sayeed said, "I have told the Union Home minister that they (the Kashmiri Pandits) cannot live separately (in KashmirValley) and they will have to live together."

Major opposition parties and separatists groups in Jammu and Kashmir had slammed the move, saying it will divide the people and pose security risks.

Singh had written a letter to the previous Omar Abdullah government which was followed by another communication to state Governor N N Vohra asking for identification of land for such migrants.

At present, there are about 62,000 registered Kashmiri migrant families in the country, who have moved from the Valley to Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country after the state was rocked by militancy in 1989.

The BJP-PDP alliance in the state had mentioned rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in their common minimum programme.

During the budget for 2015-16, Rs 580 crore has been earmarked by the Centre for rehabilitation of migrants.

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