Hyderabad: Kashmiri Pandits in the twin cities were on cloud nine after Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday announced in the Parliament the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution, thus revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir,
“It’s freedom for us,” said Telangana Kashmiri Hindu Sabha (TKHS) president Bharat Bhushan Dhar. Families of Kashmiri Pandits residing in Hyderabad and Secunderabad congregated at Durgam Cheruvu Park and celebrated the Centre’s decision by distributing sweets.
Welcoming decision, the community members, who have been living in Hyderabad since 1989, said they had left their hometown because of terrorism.
“Our families, especially women, were attacked brutally. Our houses were damaged. Unidentified persons came in groups and resorted to violence against us. Unable to bear the torture, we left our native place in Jammu and Kashmir and migrated to different areas in India,” said Dhar.
In addition to atrocities the families of Pandits faced in the valley, the increasing terror activities also forced them to leave their native places. Most families were now residing in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and New Delhi among other cities in the country. After arriving at Hyderabad, some Kashmiris started their own business while others worked in private companies.
Dhar said the Central government’s decision would render justice to all the Pandits who left Jammu and Kashmir due to violence. “It’s a historic day for us as the abolition of Article 370 will bring much needed relief for us,” he said, adding the long wait has now ended.
He said the Centre’s decision would be useful for five lakh Pandits who were living in different places across the country. He requested the government to take necessary steps to help the Pandits return to their native places.
“We are also in touch with our friends in Jammu and Kashmir to know more information regarding the law and order situation,” Dhar said, adding that plans were being chalked out to organise celebrations on a grand note on August 15 in the city.