PTI

Displaced Kashmiri Pandits on Wednesday observed January 19 as the 'holocaust day' to mark the exodus of their community members from the Valley in 1990 due to threats and killings by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.

Several migrant organisations like Panun Kashmir, Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD), Kashmir Pandit Sabha (KPS), Youth All India Kashmiri Samaj (YAIKS), Save Sharda Committee (SSC) and All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference (ASKPC) held programmes during the day to pay tributes to the victims and to reaffirm commitment to the cause of the Kashmiri Pandits.

Events were also held at Jagti and Muthi migrant camps here.

The organisations demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should personally intervene to settle the Kashmir Pandit community, living as refugees in their own country for the past 32 years, in the valley.

Panun Kashmir said it has taken a renewed pledge to rededicate itself to the cause of a separate homeland in the valley.

It was on January 19, 1990, when an entire community was forced to leave Kashmir amid calls of cheliv galiv ya raliv (leave, die, or mix)", a Panun Kashmir leader said.

The day marks the beginning of the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits on a mass scale that ultimately culminated in the complete exodus of the aboriginal indigenous people that represented a civilisation that was more than 5,000 years old, he said.

"We are caught in uncertainity. We do not know our future. We had high hope that the government led by PM Modi will ensure the reversal of genocide by facilitating our return back to the valley. But nothing has happened post the abrogation of Article 370," said Sahil Pandita of the Jagti camp.

Panun Kashmir leader Kamal Bagati said, Kashmiri Pandits have suffered genocide, ethnic cleansing and exodus despite being the indigenous people of Kashmir and it is the duty of the government to resettle them in their homeland in accordance with their geopolitical aspirations.

A large group of Kashmiri Pandits from the Delhi-NCR region organised a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.

The protest was organised and led by Ravinder Pandita, Head of Save Sharda Committee Kashmir.

He said the government should take practical steps in consultations with the community for its safe return to Kashmir.

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