KPs Trust Muslims, Not The Govt

KPs Trust Muslims, Not The Govt

8 March 2011
Greater Kashmir
Faheem Aslam

Budgam: The migrant Kashmiri Pandit youth who recently returned to the Valley under a special employment-cum-rehabilitation scheme, are one by one giving up the accommodation provided to them by the state government and instead prefer to stay with the Muslim families in the vicinity of their places of posting. “I have left the government flat allotted to me at Sheikhpora (Budgam) and am staying as a paying guest with a Muslim family near the school where I have been posted,” a migrant Kashmiri Pandit girl, posted as teacher under special recruitment drive in a Budgam village told Greater Kashmir. The girl, wishing not to be quoted, said she feels more secure and comfortable living with the Muslim family than getting cooped in a security zone with gun-totting cops around. The girl, alongwith several other Kashmiri Pandit youth recruits, was provided accommodation in Sheikhpora (Budgam), where the government has constructed flats for those Kashmiri Pandit migrants, who want to return to the Valley. These flats have now been allotted to the Pandit youth appointed in government services under a special recruitment drive recently. However, most of the KP youth, especially the girls have started moving out of these flats and opt for either rented accommodation at the houses of their Muslim brethren near the places of their posting or go for paying guest stay. “Even our parents advise us to go for rented accommodation at Muslim houses instead of availing the accommodation provided by the government as they are not very sure about the environs of these flats with lot of security paraphernalia around,” another girl, also posted as teacher in another Budgam village, said. “I have also moved out of the discomforting Sheikhpora flats and am staying with a Muslim family. I am very happy living with the family. They have two daughters and the landlady treats me just like her own daughter,” said the Pandit girl adding that even though she doesn’t have had much interaction with Kashmiri Muslims as she would have been just 4 to 5 years old when her parents left the Valley, but “I don’t feel any problem working or living with them again. It’s just a wonderful experience.” The girl said as she goes to her room after having dinner with the family, the landlady sends her two daughters along so that “I don’t feel lonely and all the three of us go to bed together in my room.” The girl said that most of their colleagues also have started vacating the Sheikhpora flats and are relocating to live with the Muslim families. “Living with these families, we just feel like at our own home and our parents are also satisfied that we are in safe hands,” the girl said adding that “our parents still trust their Muslim brethren more than seeing us bracketed in any security set up.” The state government has announced a special employment package for the educated migrant Kashmiri Pandits under which 6000 youth would be provided employment in the Valley. About 2000 Kashmiri Pandit youth, recruited under the special recruitment drive, have shifted back to the Valley and a good number of them have joined their duties in their respective places of postings. Of these 628 Pandit youth have been posted in Islamabad (Anantnag), 164 in Srinagar, 175 in Baramulla, 201 in Kupwara, 135 in Pulwama, 111 in Budgam, 93 in Shopian, 38 in Ganderbal, 9 in Bandipora and 141 in Kulgam district. The Government has constructed residential quarters for rehabilitation of the migrants at Sheikhpora (Budgam) Mattan (Islamabad Anantnag) Vessu (Qazigund) and Hawal (Pulwama). Although the government had asked the heads of departments to post these youth mostly at the district headquarters, the appointees feel comfortable working anywhere. “I don’t have any problem working here,” said a boy posted some 10 Kms from Pulwama.


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