Jobs for non-migrant Pandits living in the Valley

808 families to benefit 

  • There are 808 Hindu families, comprising 3,500 persons, who didn’t migrate when militancy erupted in the Valley
  • The committee set up by the PDP-BJP government will hold its first meeting in the first week of December to do groundwork for the selection process
  • As per the government order issued on November 13, nearly 500 posts have been earmarked under the “one job, one family” criteria to enable non-migrant Hindus to earn their livelihood

After facing neglect for 27 years, non-migrant Kashmiri Pandit youth living in the Valley will get jobs under the Prime Minister Employment Package. Following the Central government approval, the PDP-BJP government has constituted a committee headed by the Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) to select candidates among Pandits who did not migrate in 1989-90 after the eruption of armed insurgency.Hindu Welfare Society Kashmir

The committee will hold its first meeting in the first week of December to do groundwork for the selection process. As per the government order issued on November 13, nearly 500 posts have been earmarked under the “one job, one family” criteria to enable non-migrant Hindus to earn their livelihood.

There are 808 Hindu families, comprising 3,500 persons, who didn’t migrate like the 3.50 lakh members of the minority community who left the Valley when militancy erupted in the state. Despite facing economic deprivation and massacres during the last two decades, they continued to live in their homeland.

A majority of them live in Srinagar and south Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Anantnag, the epicentre of the current phase of turmoil which has seen some deadly terror attacks on security forces.

The committee members include Deputy Commissioner (Srinagar), Relief Commissioner (Migrants), a member of J&K Service Selection Board to be nominated by the Chairman, J&K SSB, and a representative of the Department of Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation and Reconstruction.

While preference will be given to Hindu families still residing in Kashmir, the candidates are required to furnish details that their family did not leave the Valley during militancy.

Relief Commissioner ML Raina said, “The committee after holding its first meeting will chalk out a strategy to implement the order. It is specifically targeted towards the youth who lived in Kashmir during militancy years. The recruitment process will start in coming months.

”Non-migrant Pandits have for long complained about discrimination against them. While displaced Hindu families living in camps of Jammu get relief benefits, families who live in the Valley were kept out of the Centre’s major employment package.

“We hope that the process will start soon as hundreds of youth are without employment. These youth have suffered immensely because of turmoil and the discriminatory attitude of the successive governments. The PM’s package will allow these families to live in their villages and towns,” said Sanjay Tikku, president, Kashmiri Pandit Sangrash Samiti (KPSS).

The KPSS had filed a petition in 2013 before the High Court, seeking issuance of the necessary directions to the Central and state governments for the extension of the package to the Pandits who did not leave the Valley at the onset of militancy in 1990. In 2016, the court had asked the government to address the issue.

This post originally appeared on The Tribune India