Minority status for Kashmiri Pandits rests with J&K govt
Minority status for Kashmiri Pandits rests with J&K govt, Against the backdrop of the NDA government announcing a Rs 500 crore package for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.
New Delhi: Against the backdrop of the NDA government announcing a Rs 500 crore package for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla said that the decision on including them in the minority list rests with the Jammu and Kashmir government.
"I have sympathies with them. This decision rests with the government. If they agree to include them in the minority list, we will be seven then," Heptulla replied to a query on the long pending demand of the Kashmiri Pandits.
She added that the Kashmiri Pandits have recently met her with their demand for minority status and she was "sympathetic" with their cause.
Kashmiri Pandits for a long time have been demanding that they be conferred with minority status, which has been so far given to Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis. The government had announced a Rs 500 crore package for rebuilding lives of Kashmiri Pandits in this year's Union Budget. The fund will be earmarked for providing support to Kashmiri Pandits for "rebuilding their lives".
The Narendra Modi government had flagged rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants, who left the valley after the onset of militancy in 1990, as its priority and, ahead of the budget, a series of meetings was held between officials of the state and the Centre. At present, 60,452 families of Kashmiri migrants are registered in the country, of which 38,119 are in Jammu, 19,338 in Delhi and 1,995 in other states.