Describing Hindu shines and temples as valuable treasure and symbol of Kashmir’s pluralistic ethos, Provincial President National Conference Jammu, Devender Singh Rana on Friday called for building a consensus in getting through the Kashmiri Hindu Shrines and Religious Places (Management and Regulation) Bill in the state legislature.
Addressing a gathering of Kashmiri Pandits, Rana said the issue requires to be deliberated upon threadbare by the community as also the entire political spectrum for building consensus and facilitating its expeditious passage.
Rana eulogized role of Kashmiri Pandits in the socio-economic reconstruction of the state and particularly referred to their immense contribution in intellectual development and spread of academics in the Valley. He said the community has left an indelible mark in the field of education which is still recognized.
Rana elaborately dwelt on the initiatives taken by the coalition government for improving the living conditions of migrants and referred to the construction of tenements, increase in the relief, provision of jobs to unemployed in a time bound manner and creating avenues of progress and prosperity of the displaced community.
Referring to the issues raised by the community leaders, Rana said the government is seized of these and all possible steps are being taken to enhance the living conditions of the migrant population. In this context, he referred to the increase in the monthly relief and special package for employment of the educated youth.
As regards improving facilities in the Jagati township, urged the community leaders to prepare a blue print which will be discussed with the Chief Minister who, he said, is keen for their upliftment. He said the issues like improving drinking water and power supply in the township are being looked into priority and loopholes, if any, would be plugged to ensure the inhabitants are not put to inconvenience.
Rana called for unity in the community and assured that National Conference is committed to improving their lot and creating such conditions in the Valley which install confidence and sense of security among Kashmiri Pandits for their dignified return. Till that time, he said the facilities in their dwelling colonies would be further upgraded. In this context, he referred to the assurance held out by the Chief Minister during the recent apex committee meeting and made a mention of instructions passed for construction of shops and improving the various other utility services.
The Provincial President assured the community that he will plead their genuine cause before all concerned as their true representative. He assailed those trying to divide the community politicize the miseries of migrants for furthering their political fortunes and said Kashmiri Pandits are aware of the role played by National Conference in forging brotherhood, amity and harmony in the state. “The foundations of National Conference are based on Sher-i-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah’s cherished slogan of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh unity”, he said adding that his party would further strengthen these bonds for harmonious development of society.
Speaking on the occasion, Member Legislative Council, Vijay Bakaya highlighted the problems faced by Kashmiri migrants in their camps and particularly referred to the filling up of posts earmarked under the Prime Minister’s Special Package. He also pointed towards various deficiencies in the Jagati townhip and other colonies inhabited by the migrants and sought improvement in various services like power, drinking water, health and hygiene etcetera.
Bakaya emphasized the need for unity and said that collective effort was highly required for getting various issues sorted out.