30 years of Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits: Know details about the horror that still haunts them

Kashmiri Pandits took to social media and posted “Hum Aayenge Apne Watan” on 30th anniversary of Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits

The land of Jammu and Kashmir saw the beginning of a mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits following a genocidal campaign launched by the terrorists 30 years ago on 19th January. While the new year brings happiness and new hopes to the world, for Kashmiri Pandits, January brings back a three-decade-old nightmare.

Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee their homeland as the slogans of “Ralive, Tsalive ya Galive (Convert to Islam, leave the place or perish)” echoed from the mosques and streets. Even some local newspapers published advertisements by terrorist organizations warning Pandits to leave the state. Lakhs of Pandits had to leave their homeland, Kashmir, after January 19, 1990. Notably,  they were targeted by extremists. Islamic jihadis wreaked havoc on the minority, Kashmiri-Hindus, ultimately making them refugees in their own country.

January 19 is marked as the Exodus Day by the Kashmiri Pandits

January 19 is marked as the Exodus Day by the Pandits of Kashmir as it marks the exodus of the members of the community from Kashmir. To mark the anniversary of the mass exodus, members of the community took to social media to post videos of them narrating the “Hum Aayenge Apne Watan” dialogue with a hope that they will return their homeland someday.

The terrorists murdered hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits. Women were allegedly gang-raped and killed. Hindu Temples were targeted. Kidnappings and incidents of stone-pelting at Hindu homes became a common thing. Neither administrators nor the police came to their rescue. Human Rights defenders were not seen enquiring the whereabouts of Kashmiri Hindus. Hindu patients were being marginalized even in hospitals.

Minorities were persecuted, threatened, mentally and physically tortured in schools, colleges, offices.

Slogans like “Kaafiro Ko Maaro” (Kill the outsiders), “Yahan Nizam-e-Mustafa chalega” (what we want in Kashmir, rule of Allah) from the loudspeakers of mosques were raised.

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Governor Jagmohan called the Army who stopped the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits

It was Governor Jagmohan, who called the Army to stop the massacre of those Pandits.

According to Kashmiri Pandits, more than 300 Hindus were killed between 1989-90. They said that the massacre continued even after 1990. 23 Pandits were killed on January 26, 1998, in Wandhama area of Ganderbal district.

It is unfortunate that famous local political leaders such as Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah or the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed never talked about the atrocities against the Kashmiri Hindus.

Even after 30 years of the massacre, no judicial inquiry commission or SIT has been formed or an enquiry is launched. Kashmiri Pandits are still awaiting justice. Their return to a homeland still seems to be a distant dream. However, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said in Rajya Sabha in July last year that the Central Government is committed to bringing Kashmiri Pandits and Sufis back to the Valley. He said that a time will come when the community will offer prayers at the famous Kheer Bhawani temple.

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