Kashmiri Pandit employees’ issue being handled with full sensitivity, says J&K L-G Manoj Sinha

His statement comes a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had written to the Prime Minister seeking intervention in ensuring the security and welfare of Kashmiri Pandits

February 05, 2023 12:37 am | Updated 12:37 am IST - Jammu

Jammu & Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha

Jammu & Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha | Photo Credit: PTI

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Saturday said his administration was “working with full sensitivity and commitment to address all the issues” concerning Kashmiri Pandits.

The L-G’s statement came a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in addressing the plight of Kashmiri Pandit government employees who did not want to return to the Valley after the targeted killings of people of the community. Mr. Gandhi had also accused the J&K administration of adopting an insensitive approach towards the Kashmiri Pandit employees.

The Lt. Governor, who visited Kashmiri migrants at Jagti Colony in Jammu, said, “Few unfortunate incidents had occurred. These attacks were not only on individuals but also on the integrity of India. There are a handful of people, who on the behest of the neighbouring country are targeting innocent civilians. Under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, we are working with full sensitivity and commitment to address all the issues.”

Mr. Sinha said many Pandit employees engaged after the special rehabilitation policy “have resumed their duties”. “A direction has been issued to release their pending salaries without delay,” the L-G said.

Earlier, over 5,000 Kashmiri Pandit employees, who had gone to Jammu fearing for their lives, were allegedly denied their salary till they reported for duty in the Valley. 

Referring to Mr. Gandhi’s statement where he had accused the L-G of calling Pandits “beggars”, Mr. Sinha said, “I have made no such statement and it has been attributed to me with malicious intent. I have never used such words for anyone in my entire life. It is my firm belief that anyone who needs help should always be given priority.”

He said his door was open 24 hours to those who have any problem. “We are creating an environment to address your issues, efforts are being made for the welfare of your children and families to ensure that the entire community can contribute to the progress of J&K like it did in the past,” Mr. Sinha told the Pandits.

He said all the arrangements were in place for the construction of 6,000 dwellings for Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu.

“Except for two (sites), the construction is underway on all the sites. I am personally monitoring the progress. By April, 1,200 houses will be ready and by December 2,700 houses will be ready,” he added.

He also said that 80% to 85% of the Pandit employees were already posted at district headquarters. “Some are posted at tehsil headquarters after the security audit of the areas. We have ensured that no one is posted at any office or school situated in a remote isolated area,” he added.

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