Kashmiri Pandits Martyrs’ Day (14th September)

September 1989 : The brutal murder of lawyer and BJP leader Tika Lal Taploo right outside his residence on 14th September instilled fears in the Kashmiri Pandit minority community. Barely 3 weeks later, retired Judge Neelkanth Ganjoo was killed in broad daylight. Coincidentally or not, Justice Ganjoo had ruled the death sentence to Maqbool Bhat, one of the founding leaders of JKLF.

December 1989 : On 8th December, Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (the then Home Minister) was kidnapped by JKLF. She was released after Abdullah-led Government freed 13 of their jailed members.

Too much of everything is bad; and that is how pampering and overzealous concern for the Muslims in the Valley of Kashmir have led them to commit wrongs against the Nation, its patriotic citizens and the soldiers fighting for her integrity. They have learnt to squeeze maximum benefits from this Nation and yet collude with the secessionists, terrorists and fundamentalists. After committing these wrongs, they conveniently find a clout within the Nation, not only to blind the truth, but also let loose a blatant disinformation campaign.

Right from 1947, the Islamic forces in the Valley have been mustering support from within and outside this country for creation of NIZAM-E-MUSTAFA in the Valley of Kashmir. The Kashmiri Pandits who were the only remanant of Indianness in the Valley, therefore, were the only resistance in the way of Islamic Jihad. This is why, Hindus being hounded out from the land of their ancestors became imperative in the design of the secessionists.

In brief, we remember our Hindu brethren in Kashmir on this solemn day and pray that God show the way to relieve them of their sufferings.

Meanwhile, newspapers, posters and mosques issued declarations giving Kashmiri Pandits three options – ‘Ralive, Tsaliv ya Galive’ (Convert to Islam, leave Kashmir or get killed). A local Urdu daily, Aftab also carried messages threatening Hindus to leave.

Former Director-General of Jammu & Kashmir Police MM Khajooria said, “The mischief of the summer of 1989 started with serving notice to the prominent members of the minority community to quit Kashmir”. The note ended with a warning, “If you do not obey, we will start with your children. Kashmir Liberation, Zindabad”.

The night of 19th January & After

From the end of the 1980’s through to the next decade, militancy in Kashmir was at its peak. January 1990 witnessed gruesome happenings, the likes of which had not been seen by the Pandits since the Afghan rule. The National Conference-Congress Government lost the plot. President’s rule was imposed and Jagmohan arrived on 19th January to take charge as the Governor.

Around 9 p.m. on the night of 19th January 1990, the Valley reverberated with war-cries of extremists and pro-Pakistan slogans raised by a huge crowd relayed through loudspeakers.

Tens of thousands of Kashmiri Muslims, including young, old, children and women poured into the streets, shouting ‘death to India’ and ‘death to kafirs’.The slogans continued till morning, making it clear to the Pandits that they were in the line of fire.

Law and order crumbled as the Police deserted their posts and the Pandits were left to defend themselves. “For the first time after the Independence of India from the British rule, Kashmiri Pandits found themselves abandoned to their fate, stranded in their own homes, encircled by rampaging mobs”, MM Khajooria said.

In the face of militancy and lack of political will from the Indian Government to intervene, many Kashmiri Hindu women were kidnapped, raped and murdered throughout the time of the exodus. A young social-worker Satish Tikkoo was killed near his house in February.
On 13th February, Lassa Kaul, the Station Director of Doordarshan Srinagar was shot dead.

The wife of a BSF personnel, MN Paul, was kidnapped, raped and murdered, allegedly because she was the wife of a Government official. One particular case of Sarwanand Koul Premi, a veteran Kashmiri poet, butchered communal harmony in the Valley. Premi, who translated the Bhagawad Geeta into Kashmiri, was killed near his house along with his son.

Fear-stricken, the hapless Pandits had no option but to leave their old homeland, properties, jobs, farms, and temples.

They engaged in whatever means of transport they could manage and fled the Valley, ending up in refugee camps in Jammu, National Capital Region surrounding Delhi and other neighbouring States.

(Credits : ‘Panun Kashmir’, OpIndia.com’)

Overzealous concern for the Muslims in the Kashmir Valley have led them to commit wrongs against the Nation !

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