Government working for return of migrant pandits to Valley: Koul


SRINAGAR — The government is working on the return of migrant Kashmiri pandits to the Valley soon with honour and dignity in a secured environment, said a senior BJP leader.

BJP General Secretary (Organisation) Ashok Koul also asked the displaced community to get ready for the return for which they have been waiting for the last three decades.

“It should be clear to all that the migrant Pandits have to return to the Valley. The government is going to take a call on it very soon,” said Koul.

He was speaking at an annual award distribution function organized by Harmukh Ganga (Gangbal) Trust (HGGT) in association with All Parties Migrants Co-ordination Committee (APMCC) here on Sunday evening.

The HGGT annually honours prominent personalities among Kashmiri pandits and their organizations in recognition of their contribution to the community.

“The situation in the Valley has improved, especially after the abrogation of Article 370 last year. The Kashmiri pandits have to go back with honour and dignity,” said Koul, himself a Kashmiri pandit.

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Lauding the efforts of APMCC for the reopening and upkeep of temples in the Valley, the BJP leader told the audience that the government would support reconstruction and renovation of important temples and shrines in the Valley.

APMCC also launched a campaign for the reconstruction of ancient Sun temple Martand in south Kashmir, said APMCC spokesperson King C Bharati, adding that the organisation will conduct ”Maha Yagya” and exhibitions in Kashmir at the ”Martand” Temple and will organise conferences across the country to fulfil this mission.

The BJP leader along with former minister Priya Sethi, Deputy Mayor Purnima Sharma of Jammu Municipal Corporation, Board of School Education’s Chairperson Veena Pandita and Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner T K Bhat released APMCC’s documentary on “Sharada Peeth”, an ancient temple of the goddess of learning Saraswati in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

An impressive slideshow and Gangbal Song on activities of APMCC and HGGT was also displayed on the occasion, depicting the APMCC’s struggle since its inception.

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APMCC chairman Vinod Pandit spoke about plans of his group, particularly its movement to rebuild ancient Martand Surya Temple at Kehribal in Anantnag district of south Kashmir.

Prominent personalities who were honoured with various awards on the occasion included J N Sagar (Pandit Kalhan Award), Prof B L Zutshi (Lalitaditya Muktapida Award), Sunil Raina Rajanak (Abhinav Gupt Award), Core Sharada Group (Laleshwari Award), Dr Neeru Kharu (Kota Rani Award) etc.

The other awardees were Sharika Diagnostic Centre Ptv Ltd (Shriya Bhat Award), businessman Ajay Takoo (Harmukh Gangabal Award), government officer Rakesh Bhat (Pt Kashyap Bandhu Award) and Rinkoo Raj (posthumously) (Martyr Principal Ashok Raina Award).

An employee of J&K Tourism department, Rinkoo had saved two people from drowning in Kashmir, but lost his life.

The awards are given away annually in recognition of the contribution of prominent community members towards upliftment of the community and their contribution to the nation as a whole, said King Bharati.

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