Sunday, June 26, 2011

SRINAGAR: A Kashmiri Pandit organisation claimed that at least 399 Pandits have been killed since the eruption of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990, with 75 per cent of them killed in the first year alone.

"The first list of a survey done by us suggests that 399 Pandits were killed. Our estimate is that the total number of them killed will be around 650 in the last 20 years," Kashmir Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS) President Sanjay Tickoo told reporters here.

He said the survey to find the exact number of Pandits killed was done in 2008 and 2009, which revealed that 302 members of the community were killed in 1990 alone.
KPSS' estimate is nearly double the number of Kashmiri Pandit killings acknowledged by the state government which has put the number at 219.

"Our list is still incomplete and more names are expected to be added in future," he said.

Tickoo dismissed the claims by migrant Pandit organisations that more than 3000 members of the community were killed in the last 20 years.

"We do not agree with the propaganda from outside that 3000 to 4000 Pandits were killed in Kashmir," he said.

KPSS also demanded the killings be investigated by the CBI and the culprits booked at the earliest.

"Every single case pertaining to the minority community should be handed over the CBI for investigation to bring the guilty to justice," Tickoo said.

Meanwhile, KPSS held two days of special prayers at the historic Sheetleshwar Bhairav temple here in old city where a large number of people from the minority community congregated.

A photo exhibition about the temples in the valley was also organised by the group.