What is my greatest problem in the Valley?

What is my greatest problem in the Valley?

"When you kill one person, you go to the prison. When you kill one hundred persons, you are a hero. And when you are responsible for the killings of hundreds of persons you are invited to peace talks."

My father a petty shopkeeper was picked up from our home, within minutes hanged to death in the precincts of our house in presence of my mother, sister and brother with no charge, rhyme or reason.

Neighbouring elderly Muslim women came to console us. Some of them said that it was God's will. Not an insect can be killed unless Allah wills. There were tears in the eyes of a few girls, my class mates, but when one of them told me to forget the dark past and rejoice in the new faith I was greatly hurt. She told me this while the dead body was still hanging from our walnut tree in front of our house. I was shown a Muslim neighbour elder to me 10 or 15 years to be my husband.

BSF by chance suspected something wrong as they saw hundreds of men, women and children running to our house. BSF helped us to move to Jammu. In Jammu I pin-pointed names of all those who mercilessly eliminated my dearest father but all in vain. Kashmir is 100% Islamised now. If I return to my home in the valley someday, how shall I feel when I face the same people who proved so cruel and barbaric and easily escaped any punishment even the formality of being questioned.

Miss ........ Name withheld, Resident of district Badgam (Kashmir)

No change of heart as regards exiled Hindus. Allow KPs to refuse to return the valley till Kashmir welcomes genuine secularism:

 I belong to downtown Srinagar. During 1987-88 I spent Rs. 80,000 of my life savings to renovate my house. The lure of property kept me in my home till August,1990 while my Hindu neighbours fled from Jan, 1990. But I had to pay Rs. 300 per month from March to July 1990 for being allowed to stay back in my house towards donation to the so-called freedom movement (Aazadi).

In mid August, 1990 militants from some far of place in Srinagar came with arms. They packed up all our valuables, beat us mercilessly and asked us to flee. No neighbour even whispered in our favour, not even those who recovered the monthly Jiziya from us.

Now six long years have elapsed. Our house in Srinagar has become residence of a militant family. Here in Jammu I pay Rs. 1200 monthly as rent without getting even a penny from the one who occupied my house. I am not an exception. Same is true with many many families in exile. For the Central Govtt. things have improved. There is a change in Muslim hearts. For me it is a blatant lie and bluff of the nincompoop rulers ignorant of ground realities.

Mohan Rani (Sirname withheld upon request)
Camp Muthi-Jammu.

Mother of one Dilip Kumar, B.A. (aged 24 years) S/o of Late Mohan Lal R/O village Mujamarg, Tehsil Shopiyan, District Pulwama presently in Muthi Refugee Camp, Jammu, relates the following harrowing tale.

My son Dilip was promised a job by one Habib Rishi of Reshipora Zanipora a local Congress leader. He assured us of all protection being head of a militant outfit in the area. It was 1990. He directed some militants to help us to do our normal business (looking after our orchards and agricultural land). As insurgency escalated, Habib asked for money to be paid to some Govtt. authority for issuing appointment order to Dilip. We had no money. "Sell your land whicf after sometime will be usurped by the militants and you will have neither land nor job" he repeatedly said. Dilip sold a portion of land. Habib borrowed spray machine and other Agro-equipments (costing Rs. 50,000). In all he made Rs. 70,000 from us. But as no orders were received. Dilip asked for return of the money. This annoyed Habib who had obtained money to the tune of Rs 70,000 - including cost of agricultural equipment with the promise of returning the equipment back costing about Rs. 50,000. Dilip was mercilessly beaten by Unidentified militants and his body badly mutilated thrown on a street. Dilip's Grandmother, Mother (both widows), sister and unemployed younger brother were brought to Jammu with the help of security forces. The Grandmother passed away with a heat stroke. Rest of the destitute family, all females, are in the Muthi camp today.

Kashmiri Hindu the acid test for secularism in India:

You can retain the land called Kashmir but can you give a place of honour and dignity to the exiled Kashmiri Hindu when he returns back to his 10,000 year old homeland ? The future of Kashmiri Hindu is the acid test for secularism in India.

How was it that every Muslim contributed to the hounding out of Kashmiri Hindu from the valley from 1947-90. Now when the dream of gifting away the land to Pakistan became impossible they purchase immovable property of Hindus on throw away prices. Day in and day out you see Kashmiri Muslims in refugee camps in Jammu, Delhi and elsewhere they are erstwhile neighbours urging ailing patients, starving inhabitants, parents with grown up girls with no means for their weddings to sell their property in Kashmir. They did so in 1992-93 in a different way. Then terrorists openly threatened them that their houses would be set ablaze if not sold. In many cases Insurance Companies refused to entertain the insurance proposals of the exiled Hindus. Only one option was left to the Secularist pro-Indian Hindu that was to sell his house under duress. Will anybody believe that a house built at the cost of 15 lakhs in 1983 fetched Rs. 2 lakhs to a family when one of their members became victim of kidney failure ?

Roshan Lal in exile in Mishriwalla Refugee Camp

Unless those who are responsible are called to account publicly for their involvement and are compelled to take the consequences, the seeds for new conflict are sown as a result of such encouragement.

Appeasing terrorists by calling them militants or misguided youth or declaring general amnesty is cowardice and denial of Justice not befitting a civilized government. Such measures do not necessarily bring about a long lasting peace.

Justice would demand that those who looted their neighbours property may be made responsible to make the loss good not the public exchequer.

The Kashmiri Hindu Community is disintegrating under Diaspora and the death rate of its members is alarming. The birth rate has come to a staggering nil. Nearly 3.5 lakh Pandits are living under sub-human conditions whether in refugee camps or rented houses. The government of India has floated many schemes to uplift the poor and needy but Kashmiri Hindu is not a beneficiary of even one such schemes

Sunita Raina

Source: Voice of Jammu Kashmir, June-July 1996, No. 14

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