For Kashmiri Pandits, Centre's Big Move, Cites "3 Decades Of Persecution"

The Centre is planning changes to the law to give representation to Kashmiri Pandits in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly.

For Kashmiri Pandits, Centre's Big Move, Cites '3 Decades Of Persecution'

Kashmiri Pandit groups have long demanded representation in the state assembly

New Delhi:

Kashmiri Pandits will soon be nominated to the Jammu and Kashmir assembly so that they are well-represented in the state, sources said today.

The Centre is planning changes to the law to give representation to Kashmiri Pandits in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly.

Two members of the Kashmiri Pandit community will be nominated to the assembly. "Three decades of persecution and protecting the community's political rights" are the reasons cited for the move.

Changes to the Jammu and Kashmir reorganization law will be brought in parliament, sources said. The decision follows a wave of attacks on migrants earlier this year.

The Centre's move is based on the report of the committee that is deciding on the redrawing of constituencies.

The Delimitation Commission had earlier this year recommended representation for Kashmiri Pandits and those displaced from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly.

Kashmiri Pandit groups have long demanded representation in the state assembly as a means of ensuring their political rights are preserved. They had also told the commission that they were driven out of their homes and forced to live like refugees in their own country.

Tens of thousands of Kashmiri Hindus were forced to leave their homes and lives in the Valley in the 1990s, at the height of militancy.

Their stories came to the forefront again recently because of the spotlight on "The Kashmir Files", a controversial movie that has provoked mixed feelings.

Released in March, the movie by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri was praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several BJP leaders and was also rated a Box Office hit. Critics say it plays to anti-Muslim sentiment and is loose with facts.

Sources say the nominated members will be a part of the assembly in the same template as that in Puducherry.

The new Jammu and Kashmir assembly has 114 seats after the redrawing of constituencies.

Twenty-four seats are assigned to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and voting will take place for 90 seats - 43 in the Jammu region and 47 seats in the Kashmir Valley.

Already, there are two nominations for women in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly.

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