The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Rajya Sabha on July 27 that no Kashmiri Pandit left the Valley in 2022.
After a spate of targeted killings of the members of the minority community in April and May this year, many Pandits had moved to Jammu fearing for their safety.
On May 17, Kashmir’s Divisional Commissioner and its Inspector General of Police (IGP) visited several transit camps of Kashmiri Pandits in Srinagar, Kulgam and Anantnag and advised the fear-struck community against migration from the Valley, in the wake of the killing of the Pandit employee, Rahul Bhat, on May 12.
In response to a question by member Javed Ali Khan, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said that “As per the records, no Kashmiri Pandit has left the Kashmir Valley during the year 2022.” He said that the number of Kashmiri Pandits who are still residing in the Valley stands at 6,514 while in 2019 the number stood at 6,432.
In another reply, the minister stated that after Article 370 which granted special status to J&K was revoked by the Parliament in August 2019, “nine government employees (excluding security forces) including one Kashmiri Pandit have lost their lives in terror-related incidents in J&K.”
It added that the government has a policy of zero tolerance against terrorism and the security situation has improved significantly in J&K. “There has been a substantial decline in terrorist attacks from 417 in 2018 to 229 in 2021,” it said.
The minister said that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has intimated that there was no significant protests against the report of the Delimitation Commission. “However, various political parties have expressed different views on the report,” it said.
It said that against the previous number of 37 and 46 Assembly seats for the Jammu region and the Kashmir region respectively, the Delimitation Commission has notified 43 seats for the Jammu region and 47 seats for the Kashmir region.