Sunday, 19 Jan, 6.49 am Asian Age

After 30 years in exile, Kashmiri Pandits expect compensation, safe return home

Being a known figure, he chose to stay back in his native place when the Valley was in the grip of turmoil.

New Delhi: The exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits will be completing 30 years on Sunday (January 19), but the community is still waiting for justice and their return to homeland with honour and dignity.

Late Sarwanand Koul Premi is still being remembered in Kashmir as a renowned poet, a social activist, a journalist and a reputed author of around three dozen books. Being a known figure, he chose to stay back in his native place when the Valley was in the grip of turmoil.

Unfortunately, his belief was brutally shattered and cost him his and his younger son's life. On the intervening night of April 29-30, 1990, some unknown persons kidnapped Premi and his son Veerji Koul from their native village Soafshali and then killed them. An FIR was registered at the local police station Dooru. Unfortunately, no clue regarding the accused was stuck out, so the probe in the case was closed as untraced.

Further, the family suffered another blow when on the intervening night of August 11-12, 1998, some miscreants set the residence of Premi on fire regarding which an FIR was registered. The case was again closed as the culprits were untraced.

However, Rajender Koul Premi, the elder son of Sarwanand Koul Premi, who was forced to migrate to Delhi after the horrifying incident with his family is still fighting for justice not only for his personal cause but also for the entire community.

Mr. Premi, who is the complainant, told this newspaper that even after 29 years of the tragic incident, the inaction and insensitive approach of the government, which initially had made huge promises to compensate and resettle the family, has miserably failed to transform the same into action.

"For the last 29 years, I have met Prime Ministers and chief ministers, Union ministers and top officials but everything went in vain, we are yet to get justice. My family has lost everything so as my community. We want justice, due compensation and return to our homeland with safety and security. He further said that after the government revoked Article 370 last year, we got a ray of hope. People are now coming forward for the our cause.

The State Human Rights Commission on February 22, 2012, in its double-bench verdict has ordered very valid recommendations and has asked the state government to redress the grievances of the family "sooner the better" but nothing has changed since then," said Mr Premi.

Meanwhile, the Kashmiri Pandits living in the national capital are now expecting the Centre to chart out a concrete roadmap for their safe return and rehabilitation in the trouble-torn valley.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Dailyhunt. Publisher: Asian Age