Kashmir temple opened after 21 yrs

A number of Pandits, who are living here and those who had migrated to Jammu and other parts of the country after the eruption of militancy in 1990, participated in the special prayers held in connection with the function.

“Six-hundred temples are still lying closed in different parts of Kashmir. We are in the process of reopening them. We are thankful to our Muslim brethren for facilitating the reopening of these temples,” said S K Tickoo,  president, Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS),  the organisation instrumental in reopening of the temple.

Essential cooperation

He added that the reopening of the temples was not possible without the cooperation of the majority community. Tickoo  hoped that the communal bonds between Hindus and Muslims would get further strengthened with the passage of time. Ramesh Kumar, another Kashmiri Pandit, said Kashmir has the tradition of communal brotherhood since centuries. “Even today, the bonds are very strong. This is evident from the fact that despite the turmoil, thousands of Kashmiri Pandits continue to live here with the support of Muslims. With the improvement in the situation, we hope our migrant brothers and sisters would also return,” he said.

The appeal to migrants was also made by a section of Muslims, who were present at the function. “Kashmiri Muslims are not against Pandits and we are incomplete without them. Now, even separatists are asking them to return. The Pandit organisation must initiate a dialogue with Muslims for the return of migrants at the earliest,” said Abdul Majid.

Meanwhile, Tickoo urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to announce incentives for Kashmiri Pandits at par with the migrants. If an incentive was not given, Tickoo said, the Pandit youth might get frustrated and would join the separatist movement.

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