Kashmiri Pandits meet Prez, want Article 370 scrapped

Criticising the report of Centre's interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir, a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits on Friday submitted a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil seeking annulment of Article 370, which gives 'special' status to the state.

The delegation informed Patil that they have reservations about the interlocutors report as it has nothing concrete for their community.

"Article 370 is the biggest problem for us. We are against the report of interlocutors," Kashmiri Pandit Conference president Kundan Kashmiri said after the meeting.

"We have no political identity. Our Indian identity is also dependent on regional identity. Our regional identity must be restored," said Sunil Shakdar, a delegation member.

The interlocutors report said no more central laws and Articles of the Constitution should be extended to the state by Presidential order. The report also wants the state's status to be termed as 'special', as a broad consensus exists in the state on the point that the state's distinctive status guaranteed by Article 370 must be upheld.

The memorandum laid down by the delegation includes enactment of law to protect and promote Kashmiri Hindu Religious Property, consolidated rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, abrogation of Article 370 and age relaxation and cash assistance of Rs 25 lakh to over aged Kashmiri Pandits (KP) youths. It also included enhancement of relief to KP relief holders up to Rs 12,000 per family.

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