SRINAGAR, Apr 2: BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Saturday said a special force of ex-servicemen be created for the protection of Kashmiri Pandits so as to enable them to return and live in the Valley without fear.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event — ‘Navreh Milan’ (inter community cultural festival) — organised by J-K Peace Forum here, Swami said Kashmiri Pandits have gone through a horrible experience in the 1990s and they we cannot have a similar situation once they return.
So, we will only tell them to return when the situation is good. My suggestion is that one lakh sainiks, who have retired now but still know how to use guns, be asked to live in Kashmir along with their families for five years. They will be given salary, etc for that.
“Because when the Kashmiri Pandits return, there will be a special force to protect them. They (Pandits) have experienced a massacre and they should not have to go through that again,” he said.
The BJP leader said this force will be specifically for the protection of the returned Kashmiri Pandits.
“They (the forces) will have direct communication lines with the Pandit families so that they can immediately reach out them when called,” he added.
Asked if the Pandits should remain in separate colonies or together with Muslims across the valley, Swami said it was their choice.
“If they are not sure that they can live with Muslims, then they should live separately,” he said.
Swami said while the Pandits have to be brought back to live here, the government should create an atmosphere conducive for it.
“For that, discussions are going on. I can tell you that no government will last in Delhi unless these four-five lakh people, who were forced to leave, get justice and are able to return to their homes and get back their land and existence,” he said.
Later, in his address to a gathering at the event, Swami said the Kashmiri Muslims should not have apprehensions that there would be separate colonies for Pandits or there would be any cultural changes.
“No, it is not like that. It is their right to return, their right to live securely and they will get everything that everyone here is getting,” he said.
He said the Pandits can live in separate colonies for five to six years so as to create trust that “it (repeat of 1990s) will not happen again”.
Earlier, Swami performed Pooja at the Chakreshwari Devi temple at Hariparbhat here, which was attended by scores of Kashmiri Pandits on the occasion of the ‘Navreh’, the first day of the Kashmiri new year celebrated by the Pandit community.
“For the first time after 32 years, Hindus have got the right and the opportunity to pray before Chakreshwari Devi on the occasion of Navreh. This is a good beginning and it should not be stopped here, the locks on the temples need to be removed.
“Some people tried to massacre them and lessen the numbers of the Kashmiri Pandits by spreading terror, but now that has ended. Now, we will together move forward to make J-K a progressive part of India,” the BJP leader said.
This was just the beginning and with the help of the Centre, all those temples which were shut or damaged, will be restored and re-opened, Swamy said.
He also said a temple “built by Shankaracharya in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) will be taken under the Government control”. (Agencies)