Most Kashmiri Pandit employees left the valley last year after a long spell of unrest
Sonia Bhat, a government teacher in Kashmir, left the valley and came to Jammu days after terrorist Burhan Wani was killed last year. The Kashmiri Pandit who migrated from the valley in the early nineties and had returned only seven years ago after she got a government job says more than day-to-day problems, it is the security concerns that are most worrying.
"The situation since last year is a clear indication that there is a threat in Kashmir, people are coming on the roads and there is stone pelting, we can't go to Kashmir in such an atmosphere," she tells NDTV.
Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu are protesting and threatening mass resignations after the government asked them to rejoin their duties in Kashmir valley. The government had given 3,000 jobs to Kashmiri Pandits in the valley under the Prime Minister's special package for settling them in Kashmir. Most Kashmiri Pandit employees left the valley last year after a long spell of unrest following the encounter of Burhan Wani. Now, 500 of them are refusing to return.
"The ongoing proxy war in Kashmir is against India and nationalist forces, why are you forcing us to go back to Kashmir in such an atmosphere," said RK Bhat, President Youth All India Kashmiri Samaj.
The government says Pandit employees can only be moved to safe locations within the valley and everything will be done to ensure their safety but there is no question of giving in to the demands of transferring Pandits out of the valley. The government has given a 15-day ultimatum to Pandit employees to return to duties.
"There is no way that their jobs can continue while they remain outside Kashmir, they will have to come back, I do sympathise with them, if they have any concern we will address it... we will keep them in and around Srinagar," said Altaf Bukhari, Jammu and Kashmir Education Minister.