This refers to the reports “‘Farooq family communalised Kashmir’,” “People who drove away Pandits shouldn’t talk of secularism: Modi” and “Omar blames BJP for Pandits’ exodus” (all on April 29). Mr. Modi lacks the knowledge of historical facts and is distorting facts for votes. I served in the University of Kashmir, Srinagar (1986-2006) and recall those days when the turmoil began in the Valley at the end of 1989. In early 1990, the sight of a TV news reader reading out the statement from Governor Jagmohan, that “those who feel insecure can move out to safer zones created for them,” is still fresh in my memory. In the morning I got to know that several Pandit families had fled the University campus. However, many in India will not know that a large number of Kashmiri Pandits did not migrate from the State. At the University, for instance, several Hindus and Kashmiri Pandits continued to serve though the University Grants Commission issued a circular in the early 1990s stating that those who migrate from the University/colleges in Kashmir, can join any university in the rest of India and get the same benefits (in fact some extra financial grant). It is also a fact that students from Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttarakhand came to Kashmir to study. This is the Kashmir and Kashmiriyat that cannot be understood by the right-wing forces.

Rais Akhtar,

Aligarh

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