The minority cell of National Conference on Saturday passed three resolutions, which among others called for return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrant Pandits in the valley and their political empowerment. The resolutions, which also demanded passage of a bill for managing the affairs of temples and shrines of the community, were presented at the start of the day-long convention chaired by party president Farooq Abdullah here.
"The Kashmiri migrant Pandit community is yearning for their honourable return and rehabilitation for the past three decades. The issue is very important," senior leader Anil Dhar said as he presented the “politically important” resolutions that were passed by a voice vote. He said the National Conference is the only party that can ensure return and rehabilitation of the Pandits in the valley. "Abdullah should guide the Government of India, which failed to make any headway in this direction till date. We have the roadmap and we are ready to share it with the Centre,” he said.
Speaking about the first resolution, Dhar said the National Conference is the only party that had given true representation to the community politically since its inception. "We had members of legislative assembly, members of legislative council and ministers among the Kashmiri Pandits from the National Conference. The community is displaced and needs to be empowered politically," he said. Another resolution demanded passage of the “temples and shrines” bill which, he said, is an important issue and a long pending demand of the community.
"Being a Member of Parliament, we request the NC president to raise the issue and attract the attention of the government (for the passage of the bill)," he said. President of NC minority cell M K Yogi said the massive turnout of Kashmiri Pandits, including women, at the convention should serve as an eye-opener to those who try to project that the community is not with the party.
"National Conference is the only party that can address all the issues of the Pandits,” he said. The convention also expressed grief over the tragic death of Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu. General Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 other people on board an Indian Air Force helicopter died in a crash near Coonoor on Wednesday. "We stand with the country and the army at this hour of grief,” a party leader said.