Kashmiri Pandits Tense Over ‘leave Valley’ Letter

Kashmiri Pandits Tense Over ‘leave Valley’ Letter

3 August 2012
DNA


Srinagar: Fear has gripped the Kashmiri pandits after a threatening letter purportedly written by militants asking them to leave the valley was delivered at their Sheikhpora colony in central Kashmir. While the police dismissed the letter by the Jaish-e-Mohommad Mujhadeen as a ‘prank’, the separatists went on an overdrive to reassure the community about their safety and security in the valley. The handwritten letter in Urdu was sent by a registered post to Sheikhpora colony triggering panic among the pandits. “The language used in the letter is highly abusive and uncivilised. Since they had asked us to leave the valley, we consulted the majority community and elders who have assured us that there is nothing to worry,” said a pandit community member. The colony houses around 500 people, mostly the pandit government employees who have been given jobs under a special scheme. The colony also houses 22 pandit families who survived the Sangrampora massacre in the early nineties. “We do not want to make it an issue since separatists and majority community members have come to our rescue,” said another pandit member. Kashmiri pandits later called on Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani who dismissed the letter as bogus and assured them of all sort of help and support. “This letter is bogus because no militant outfit by this name exists in Kashmir... The Kashmir movement is not a communal issue but a political problem concerning the future of people,” said Geelani. Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq dispatched a four-member team led by senior leader Hakim Abdul Rashid to Sheikhpora to instill a sense of security among the pandits. “The delegation assured the pandit community that they were the inalienable part of Kashmiri society. They also told them the Kashmiris would protect the life and property of pandit community,” said a Hurriyat spokesman. Police also dismissed the letter as mischief by some people. “It seems to be a prank. We have taken cognisance of the issue,” said a police officer.