Separate settlements for Kashmiri Pandits unacceptable: Geelani

Separate settlements for Kashmiri Pandits unacceptable: Geelani

A day after Jammu and Kashmir Assembly passed a resolution for the return of displaced Pandits to the Valley, hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani today said while they welcome their return, separate settlements were unacceptable.

The separatist leader said the resolution in the assembly was a "political gimmick" and "we won't allow such colonies and will oppose as already stated by the Hurriyat".

In a statement here, Geelani said, "We will welcome return of Pandits to the Valley. However any separate colony for their settlement is unacceptable."

He said Pandits "are a part of our society and we have always asked them to return and we will welcome if they are willing to settle within us and in our society.

"However, we will resent any decision about separate colonies and it will be opposed by one and all."

In a significant development yesterday, the Assembly passed a resolution for creating a conducive atmosphere for the return of the Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to leave the Valley 27 years back after militancy erupted.

Today, the Legislative Council followed suit and unanimously passed the said resolution.
The state government yesterday asserted it will go ahead with the proposal of setting up transit camps for the displaced community.

Last Monday, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had also slammed those opposed to transit accommodation for Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, and questioned how the return of "our people" could bring about a demographic change.

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