Demanding that a commission be set up to investigate the migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley, members of the community sat on dharnas on Sunday to draw the attention of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit.
Kashmiri Pandit Volunteers (KPV), led by Sandeep Mawa, have been sitting on a fast-unto-death for the past four days in Srinagar pressing for their demand.
Amid tight security arrangements, Modi inaugurated some and laid the foundation for other multiple development initiatives worth around Rs 20,000 crore in Jammu and Kashmir, including the opening of the Banihal-Qazigund road tunnel to establish all-weather connectivity between the two regions.
Another group of KPV members, led by Vikram Kaul, sat on a dharna near the Press Club Jammu, prompting the police to vacate them in wake of Modi’s visit to the region.
At least 200 more members of the KPV sat on a dharna at Muthi Ghat here demanding a probe, also into the killings and destruction of temples during the emergence of terrorism in Kashmir in the 1990s.
Mawa has threatened to set himself on fire if his demands are not fulfilled in the next few days.
He has also been demanding stern action against Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, who had allegedly admitted to having killed dozens of Pandits during the 90s.
The Kashmiri Pandits also said they wanted an administration devoid of “tainted, anti-national and corrupt” bureaucrats.
Divisional commissioner of Kashmir province Pandurang K Pole visited Mawa and asked him to end his fast.
“We, the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, have come in his (Mawa’s) support and demand that these three demands be conceded, and Dr. Sandeep Mawa is saved from self-immolation. We stand by him,” Kaul, who led the dharna in Jammu, said.