Jaya asks PM not to turn Nelson's eye to Kashmiri Pandits' plight

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Chennai, Sep 4 (UNI) Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to turn a Nelson's Eye to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, 3.5 lakh of whom have been displaced from homes due to terrorism.

In a statement here, she said, ''the displaced pandits lived in abominable conditions in make-shift camps in Jammu and Delhi despite being the original inhabitants of an idyllic paradise with a 5,000-year-old well-documented history.'' She added that known for their highest literacy rate among all groups in the country the pandits' liberal, broad-minded and secular views made them good teachers, but their small numbers and polite and passive temperament made them easy to be ignored and overlooked.

In the 90s' militant groups destroyed or took away their property and thousands brutally killed and they became refugees in their own motherland.

As many as 1,800 Kashmiri Sikhs also became the targets of Islamic militancy as well, she claimed and said they deserved to be viewed with the same sympathy as the Christian victims of Orissa violence.

While appreciating the Prime Minister for announcing a package of assistance for victims of Kandhamal violence in Orissa, she requested him to declare the Kashmiri Pandits as victims of religious extremism and provide them with rehabilitation package similar to that offered to the Orissa victims.

UNI GM GL ND1725

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