New Delhi, Jan 19 : Determined to reach back to their homeland, Kashmiri Pandits from across the city gathered at Jantar Mantar on Sunday to protest against the exudos of the community from Kashmir valley 30 years ago.
Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits including children gathered for a silent sit-in at Jantar Mantar to commemorate the black day of the community's forceful eviction from the valley 30 years ago.
Led by Jammu Kashmir Vichar Manch (JKVM), Kashmir Samiti Delhi, Roots in Kashmir (RIK) and Panun Kashmir, the protesters demanded that their human rights be restored as they have faced discrimination over the years and are given step-motherly treatment.
"We have been made a forgotten community. Our entire culture is fading. Our existence is under threat," said Anoop Bhat, Coordinator, Roots in Kashmir.
The community has been organising similar protests for many years now, but recent developments in their home state have given a boost to the morale of the community which was evident in the slogans raised during the protest.
"Hum aa rahe hain" (We are coming back), "Aaenge wo bhi apni sharton par" (We will return and that too on our terms) Expalining the slogans, Vijay Tikko, who is Vice-Chairman of Panun Kashmir said, "Time has changed, no one would have thought the government will remove Article 370, but its done and soon we will also return. Wait for the right time to come." Sumeer Chrungoo, from Kashmir Samiti Delhi said "That dreaded night was possibly the longest night of our lives. Mobs from all over the valley had occupied every single road in Kashmir. They shouted slogans against Pandits asking us to join them or perish or leave the valley." Demanding a concrete effort by the government to rehabilitate the people and restore their dignity, Mona Pandita, a protester, said: "No single conviction has taken place against the people who have widely admitted that they were a part of the killings." The event ended with a silent protest and lighting of lamps in memory of all those who gave their lives to preserve the unity and integrity of India in Kashmir.