By Deepika Bhan
New Delhi, May 25 (Ajit Weekly News) As the court sentenced Yasin Malik to rigorous life imprisonment on Wednesday for terror funding cases, the Kashmiri Pandits demanded that he should also be held accountable for the crimes he committed against the minority community.
The Pandits have held him responsible for their genocide and mass exodus from the valley in 1990.
“In the terror funding case, he has been awarded life imprisonment by NIA court for terror funding, but the nation and the displaced Kashmiri Pandits are still waiting for the law enforcement agencies to bring to justice those people who committed acts of terror against the hapless Kashmiri Pandit Community, which includes Yasin Malik and many like him. We are still waiting for the day justice is delivered to this beleaguered community,” said Ramesh Raina, President, All India Kashmiri Samaj.
The Kashmiri Pandits have been demanding a probe into the role of Yasin Malik and others in the exodus of the minorities from the valley.
Raina said: “We have already demanded a time-bound truth commission to fix the responsibility and accountability on the perpetrators of genocide on us.”
The Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD), which played a key role in the making of the ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie has welcomed the decision of the NIA court, but said that Malik should be tried for crimes against the Kashmiri Pandits.
Dr. Surinder Kaul, President of the GKPD, said: “There should be a commission of enquiry to probe Yasin Malik and others. He cannot just get away with life in terror funding case… “
He said that Malik was the “butcher of our genocide and ethnic cleansing. He has been given two life imprisonment sentences. And then there are others also… Bitta Karate is also there… and many more”.
Nearly seven lakh Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave Kashmir in 1990 because of terrorism which was created by the outlawed Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front to which Yasin Malik belonged.
From late 1980s onwards, Malik along with other members of JKLF and other terror groups have been accused of heinous crimes such as targeted killings, kidnappings, gang-rapes, assaults, arson and loot to drive the Hindus out of the Valley.
Newspapers carried advertisements threatening the Hindus to leave or face the consequences. Posters were pasted outside the houses of Kashmiri Pandits threatening them with death.
In March 2019, the Centre banned Yasin Malik’s JKLF under the anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA). Then Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba said that murders of Kashmiri Pandits by the JKLF in 1989 triggered their exodus from the Valley. “Yasin Malik was the mastermind behind the purging of Kashmiri Pandits and is responsible for their genocide,” Gauba said.
The community says when the Government of India accepts that Yasin Malik caused the persecution of Kashmiri Pandits then why has he not been tried for the cases. They demand a commission to be set up which can probe his role in the mass exodus.
Panun Kashmir leader Ramesh Manwati says: “Why Yasin Mallik has not been convicted in the brutal murders that he has committed, including those of four IAF officers in Rawalpora in Kashmir in early 1990. It’s 32 years now. It raises a big question mark against the investigating agencies and the intent of the successive governments in tackling the dreaded menace of Islamic terrorism confronting our nation. Nearly 1,500 Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs have been brutally killed, individually and in mass massacres over the decades. Shouldn’t they get justice?”
Rajinder Koul Premi, whose father renowned poet Sarwanand Koul Premi and brother Virendra were kidnapped, brutally tortured and killed in 1991, demands justice for the whole community.
He said: “Yasin Malik was just one of them. Justice is getting delayed. My family and the whole of my community has been waiting for justice. The Supreme Court should take up our case and bring justice to us. Eyes cannot be closed to our plight. It is 30 years now.”
“Not just in 1990s, Malik has been continuing with his anti-Hindu agenda even now. He is against our return to our homes,” said Manwati.
Malik has been opposing the rehabilitation plan for the displaced Kashmiri Pandits.
In April, 2015 when the Centre was mooting to build composite townships for migrant Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir, he said he will not allow these townships and will oppose them tooth and nail.
For lakhs of displaced Kashmiri Pandits, Yasin Malik is one among the several villains who should be tried for crimes committed against them.
“It’s tragic that three decades after no one know has been held accountable for our exodus and genocide. If the government does not act now, then one day will come when our exodus was regarded as myth as there are no FIRs filed, no trials, no accountability,” laments Manwati and Premi.
(Deepika Bhan can be contacted at [email protected])
–Ajit Weekly News