Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking protection for Kashmiri Pandits who are working in Kashmir valley amid recent targeted killings by terrorists.
Mr Gandhi said he met a Kashmiri Pandit delegation during the recent Bharat Jodo Yatra when it entered Jammu and Kashmir.
The Congress leader alleged the delegation complained the authorities in Jammu region have been forcing Kashmiri Pandit employees, who had fled Kashmir valley after terror attacks, to return to the valley and resume work.
"They (Kashmiri Pandit delegation) told me that government officials have been forcing them to go to Kashmir valley to work. Sending them back to Kashmir valley when the safety and security situation are clearly not good is a cruel thing to do," Mr Gandhi said in Hindi in the letter to PM Modi.
"Till the situation improves, the government can use the services of these Kashmiri Pandit employees in other administrative and public facilities," the Congress MP said.
प्रधानमंत्री जी, भारत जोड़ो यात्रा के दौरान कश्मीरी पंडितों के प्रतिनिधिमंडल ने मुझसे मिलकर अपने दुखद हालात बताए।— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 3, 2023
आतंकियों की टारगेटेड किलिंग के शिकार कश्मीरी पंडितों को बिना सुरक्षा गारंटी घाटी में जाने के लिए विवश करना निर्दयी कदम है।
आशा है, आप इस विषय में उचित कदम उठाएंगे। pic.twitter.com/1LnxDkT8i9
The Congress's Bharat Jodo Yatra, or unite India march, ended in Jammu and Kashmir last week, several months after it started from India's southernmost tip Kanyakumari.
More than 5,000 Kashmiri Pandits have been working in Kashmir valley since their selection under the Prime Minister's Special employment package launched in 2010.
The package has two key components - giving jobs to 6,000 young Kashmiri Pandits and building accommodation for them.
But many have left Kashmir valley due to safety concerns after targeted killings by terrorists.