‘Positive move’: What Kashmiri Pandits think about J&K’s special status being scrapped

Even three decades later, Ashima Kaul has vivid memories of the horrific time in January 1990 when her relatives fled their homes in Srinagar and came to live with her parents in the Jammu region. “There was a lot of anger and a sense of injustice,” said the 55-year-old member of the Kashmir Pandit community. “But now, there is a level playing field and everyone will be able to tell their stories rather than one dominant narrative.”

In the late 1980s, as insurgency activities grew in a Muslim-majority Kashmir, thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their homes in the Valley as they feared for their safety. According to a report by the Jammu and Kashmir government in 2010, around 219 Kashmiri Pandits have been killed by militants since 1989.

Having lived away from their homes for nearly 30 years, Kashmiri Pandits who Scroll.in spoke to welcomed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government’s resolutions on August 5 to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

“But we are yet to see how this unfolds,” said Kaul, who now lives in Kashmir and runs an organisation that aims to build peace among the territory’s…

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Author: Vijayta Lalwani

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