Tribune News Service
Jammu, February 17
Expectation is running high among around 10,000 migrant Kashmiri Pandits, who filled in consent forms to return to their homeland in the Kashmir valley in April last year under the Prime Minister’s package for their return and rehabilitation, amid fear whether conditions are conducive.
The three families, which returned to the valley and tried to live in their homes there, had to return humiliated by people and authorities.
Yogesh Kandhari, who took voluntary retirement from Deccan Aviation to settle down in his home in the Habba Kadal area of Srinagar a year ago, returned to Jammu unhappy and dejected within a year.
His dreams got shattered when he found a part of his house and a shop encroached.
Kandhari says, “Last year, I went back to Habba Kadal with my family in a hope to spend the remaining part of my life at my birth place. But I was shocked to see a large part of my house encroached upon by my neighbour. Somebody also broke open one of my three shops and occupied it. It took me one year running from one office to another to retrieve the rights of my properties. I was able to get my house vacated, but my shop was handed over to the intruder. Aghast over the sickening attitude of people there, I returned to Jammu to find peace of mind.”
Pushkar Razdan, a retired teacher at Pulwama, has not been even that lucky. He saw his house taken over by the state police and farms invaded by local people.
He lamented, “Expensive walnut trees in my orchards were felled and stolen by some people. A 32 feet road was drawn across my fields without my permission. My house was taken over by the state police, which created a police post there after the infamous Vandhama mass killing case. The police even refused to pay me rent. Now, the matter has got stuck with the Home Ministry. Ultimately, I had to leave my home in the valley.”
Equally distraught is Triloki Nath Bhatt, a resident of Monghama, who is physically challenged with a twisted arm by birth, to see that his own people have become estranged to him.
“When I went back this year to reconstruct my ruined home in Monghama to make it worth living, I was restrained by people and the local administration. I was aghast to know that I can’t carry out construction at my place. This shows people who keep an eye on profitable properties never want us to return.” He too returned empty-handed and disheartened.