‘Saath Do’:After 30 years, Muslims, Pandits to hold joint rally in Srinagar
Crowd of protesters people. Silhouettes of people with banners and megaphones. Concept of revolution or protest. Vector
Feb 24: For the first time in the last 30 years, Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits
will lead a joint march and hoist around one lakh white flags to “promote
peace, pluralism and coexistence” in the valley.
Friday, Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims will lead a ‘Saath Do’ rally from
Batamaloo which will crisscross through downtown before culminating at the
jointly by Bollywood’s singer of `Murder 2’ fame Saim Bhat, and Satish
Mahaldar, Chairman Reconciliation, Return and Rehabilitation of Kashmiri
migrants, the rally is aimed at “building bridges and promoting peace and
pluralism” in the valley.
is the first such initiative in the past 30 years. It is about peace. Our
mothers and daughters are crying. They are living in fear. Let us shun
everything and join hands for peace. For God’s sake let us bring peace to the
valley”, said Mahaldar.
than 150 people will be marching on bikes and cars through downtown before
dispersing at Polo View. “Since it is a first initiative, we are not expecting
a big crowd. People from Shopian, Kulgam, Budgam and other places will join
us. We will march on bikes and cars and
meet people en route. ”, he said.
highlight of the rally will be hoisting of white flags to symbolize peace.
Organizers have distributed white flags among the people for hoisting atop
their houses, shops and other places.
will hoist flags individually on their houses and shops across the valley. We have arranged flags and distributed them
among the people for the event”, said Mahaldar.
sub text of the rally is to set the stage for the return of Kashmiri Pandits to
their homes. “Let us bring Kashmiri Pandits back to the valley. Idea of India
is incomplete without the return of Kashmiri Pandits. It is not about Kashmiri
Pandits, but Sikhs and Muslims too have migrated. It has brought bad name to
the valley. Let us bring them back and rebuild our image”, he said.
figures reveal that around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered
in Jammu, and 21,000 others in Delhi and other states. Of the total migrant
families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims and 1,758 Sikhs.
released by Kashmir Pandit Sangrash Simiti (KPSS), an apex body of non-migrant
Pandits, reveal that there are 808 Kashmir Pandit families comprising 3464
people residing in the valley. Non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits are living in 292
locations and most of them are putting up in four districts of south Kashmir.
return of the Kashmiri migrants to valley was a part of the 2008 Prime Minister
financial package of Rs 1618 crore.
Under this package Rs 7.5 lakh financial assistance was to be given to
any family which will undertake renovation/reconstruction of their houses
located in the valley. Besides other things, nearly 6000 government jobs were
to be provided to Kashmiri Pandits in the valley.