Time to return, reconcile, rebuild broken bonds: Mirwaiz to Kashmiri Pandits

Srinagar, June 14 (UNI) Hurriyat Conference chairman and Kashmir’s chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday appealed to the Kashmiri Pandits to return to their homeland.

The appeal was made on a day when hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits paid their obeisance at the famous Ragnya Devi temple in Ganderbal district in the valley and celebrated the annual Kheer Bhawani mela.

“Today is Mela kheer Bhawani and I would like to felicitate our Kashmiri Pandit community on this occasion. I would also once again ask them to return to their motherland which awaits them, and live here as they did in the past, in our common and shared heritage,” Mirwaiz said while addressing the Friday congregation at the historic Jamia Masjid in old Srinagar.

“It’s time to reconcile and rebuild the broken bonds. We owe it to our next generation.”

Mirwaiz also repeated the appeal to those in power that the issue and sentiments of people of Jammu and Kashmir should be addressed through deliberation.

The Hurriyat chairman while referring to the incident of two tourists allegedly consuming liquor during a shikara ride in the Dal Lake said it had shocked all. Police has already registered a case and arrested the two tourists after a purported video of incident surface on the social media.

“Thankfully some action has been taken against it by the authorities. But the onus of preventing such incidents lies equally on us individually and as a society. Being a tourist place, all kinds of visitors will come here.

“It is for us to ensure that the ethos of Kashmir based on the values and principles of Islam, stays intact. We have to be aware of it all the time and consciously work towards preserving it, especially those people who are directly or indirectly associated with tourism,” he said.

Mirwaiz also demanded an investigation into the custodial death of Imtiaz Ahmad Pala of Pulwama in the southern Kashmir district who died after being picked up by J&K police in connection with an alleged narcotics case earlier this month.

“The killing of a 36- year- old civilian from Pulwama in custody that was reported in the media should be investigated and the accused punished and justice given to the family,” Mirwaiz said.

He said the dismissal of four more government employees from service last week, adds to “distress” among people. “Such measures only add to the mistrust and deepen the chasm,” he added.

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