Kashmiri Pandits assured of protection upon return

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Old 18-Apr-2011
Kashmiri Pandits assured of protection upon return

Srinagar: In a significant development, hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani on Sunday assured Kashmiri Pandits that 90 per cent of the Muslim population in Jammu and Kashmir would protect their Hindu brethren if they returned to the Valley.

He also rejected the idea of setting up safety zones for Pandits because "this gives a sense of divide between the Muslims and the Hindus".

The separatist leader, head of the Hurriyat group, was addressing 142 families comprising 500 men, women and children at a camp, who welcomed him at the Vessu migrant transit camp in south Kashmir's Anantnag district.

"None of you will ever come to any harm from your Muslim brothers," he assured them.

Geelani was accorded a warm welcome by Sanjay Saraf, national youth president of Lok Jan Shakti Party and the patron of the Kashmir Pandit Amity Council, along with other members of the Pandit community at the camp.

"To be a good human being, one must have good character," he added.

The 142 Pandit families came to the transit camp a fortnight ago as part of their plan to return to the Kashmir Valley they had left in 1990. Quoting from the Quran, Geelani said Allah does not discriminate between human beings on basis of religion, caste, colour, creed, wealth or poverty, rural or urban origin.

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