New Delhi, Dec 4 (UNI) Lashing out at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Kashmiri Pandits today called for changing its name to 'National Hindu Reprimand Commission' in view of its ''biased nature'' and failure to address their grievances and problems for the past 18 years.
''Since 2000, the NHRC has ceased to exist for us. It works as a biased forum. It has failed not only constitutionally, but also that part of the Constitution under which it has been constituted. It has failed to come to the rescue of Kashmiri Pandits,'' according to Mr Ashwini Kumar, Chairman of Panun Kashmir Movement (PKM), a frontline organisation of Kashmiri Pandit migrants.
Mr Ashwini Kumar, who is currently leading a 'Sankalp Yatra' (Resolution pilgrimage) of nine state and two Union Territories to apprise people about the plight of nearly 400,000 Kashmiri Pandits following their exodus from the Valley in 1989-90, accused the Central and state governments of having failed in their duties to protect the ''peace-loving'' people.
He said at a press conference here that the Centre should declare Kashmiri Pandits ''internally-displaced'' people and rehabilitate them until they are re-settled.
He reiterated the demand for a separate homeland for Kashmiri Pandits on the North and East of river Jhelum in the Valley which would have a UT status and be directly under the Central control.
Mr Ashwini Kumar who began his 'Sankalp Yatra' from the historic Sheetal Nath temple in Srinagar on November 11 along with a handful of men, said no dialogue on Kashmir could be possible without Kashmiri Pandits who are the original inhabitants of the Valley. He called for inclusion of Kashmiri Pandits in any dialogue on Kashmir.
Accusing the Jammu and Kashmir government of being indifferent towards Kashmiri Pandits, Mr Ashwini Kumar said an evidence was that for the past five-six years, all the Central funds meant for their rehabilitation, were lapsing.
He said he did not perceive any change in the Valley towards Kashmiri Pandits even after 18 years, contrary to government's claims that the situation had changed.
The Yatra, which also includes Sikh migrants from the Valley, has so far travelled to Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Chandigarh besides Srinagar and Jammu. It will now go to Jaipur, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The 51-day Yatra will cover 7000 KM, some distance on foot, to create mass awareness about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, Mr Ashwini Kumar added.