Kashmiri Pandits, Muslims to hold joint peace rally in Srinagar
The rally, named ‘Saath Do’, will start from Batamaloo and go through various areas of downtown Srinagar before culminating at Kashmir Press Club Polo View on February 28
To show unity between two communities, Kashmiri pandits and Muslims will hold a joint rally on streets of Srinagar to spread a message of peace. The rally is being organised by Bollywood singer Saim Bhat and chairman of Reconciliation, Return and Rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants Satish Mahaldar on February 28.
The rally, named "Saath Do", will start from Batamaloo and go through various areas of downtown Srinagar before culminating at Kashmir
Press Club Polo View where the participants will address the media and spread a message of peace and love.
"A joint rally will be held by Kashmiri Muslims and pandits to spread a message of peace and love. This is a message for those who want to create a wedge between two communities," Mahaldar said.
This is for the first time in three decades when a joint rally is being held by two communities. This is being organised at a time when hate speeches and communal tension is on arise in various parts of the country.
"This peace rally is to build bridges and promote peace in Kashmir. The rally will be held on bikes and cars and will go through various areas of Srinagar," Mahaldar said.
He said they have distributed white flags, which symbolise peace, among people which will be hoisted atop their houses, shops and cars.
He said Kashmiri pandits should be brought back the Valley and live with their Muslim brethren.
"We want good relationship among all communities. All communities have suffered for last three decades. Government gave land to West Pakistan refugees but Kashmiri pandits still await for their rehabilitation," he said.
The return of Kashmiri migrants to the Valley was a part of the 2008 Prime Minister financial package of Rs 1618 crore. Under this package, Rs 7.5 lakh financial assistance was to be given to any family to undertake renovation/reconstruction of their houses located in the Valley. Besides other things, nearly 6000 government jobs were to be provided to Kashmiri pandits in the Valley.
Around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered in Jammu, and 21,000 others in Delhi and other states. Of the total migrant families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims and 1,758 Sikhs.
Figures released by Kashmir Pandit Sangrash Simiti (KPSS), an apex body of non-migrant pandits, reveal that there are 808 Kashmiri pandit families comprising 3,464 people residing in the Valley. Non-migrant Kashmiri pandits are living in 292 locations and most of them are putting up in four districts of south Kashmir.