Winter migration to plains, Kashmiri beggars start making news

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Srinagar

Come winter and the reports about Kashmiris’ begging on the streets in the mainland India started. This year it has started slightly early.

A grab from the video

A 2-minute clip is spreading like wildfire on the social networking sites in which a couple of girls, who speak Kashmiri, are begging in the name of Kashmiri Pandits.

“These days Kashmiri Muslim girls claiming to be Kashmiri Pandit migrants moving around in NCR Delhi area and collect a large amount of money from general public, the caption of the video reads.

In the clip, somebody who is recording the clip is seeking details from these young females.

“First tell us, how many of you four, are Kashmiri Brahmans?” the recorder asks. The women, only one of them is speaking, says they are all Kashmiri Brahmins.

“Then, recite the Gaytri Mantar,? The recorder asks.

The lady, eldest of the group, who is responding to the queries, asks her accomplice: “What he is asking about, what Gaytri Mantar.” Then she asks them if any of them knows it, they talk to the group and the gang leader responds: “Why are you making fun of the girls?”

Then the group of roadside interrogators asks them to prove their identity which they are unable to do. After lot of questioning, they say they are not carrying anything of that sort. They are telling their “interrogators” that they have left their I-cards in the respective camps, they belong to. They offer no details. They, however, said they have talked to some “Shanti”.

Then they asked the women about the Brahmin caste they belong to Kashmir. They say they are Bhats but offer no details. “We do not know any Sashan,” the gang leader responds.

The women, visibly not so confident, are telling the people to take them to the police if they have doubts.

The clip ends abruptly.

Some Kashmiri men and women are actually begging on the streets of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and many other places during winters. They talk about militancy and destitution in making some quick bucks. In a Delhi periphery, some Kashmiri families are pitching tents and are begging for the entire winter and this is a practice that has been going on for more than two decades.

In various instances, including last year, the Kashmiris living in outside had attempted intervention by going to these “camps” and seeking details about their ancestry and residence in Kashmir but they have not been very successful. Local police and the government had been approached by various individuals over the years to investigate the issue but there has not been any success, so far.

The clip that has gone viral on Facebook and Whatsapp is carrying a lot of anger and hate by the people of Kashmir. “True, many of them visited my college in NCR, many times, though they didn’t portray themselves as KPs but for sure they collected money from there,” Mir Liyakat Farooq commenting on the video. “They are saying that they are facing some problems bla bla bla which I don’t know what. I had asked them for documents and all for which they handed me a small request letter of fundraising. They are thugs. Please don’t give the money. I have got a picture of them also. They are 3 in number, a girl and 2 boys.”

“Whether Hindu or Muslim that’s secondary but it simply shames on their part, commented Ashwani Sandhu. “Begging is such an awful and humiliating act which no one should attempt. They are simply spoiling the name of Kashmiris in every respect.”

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