Kashmir Pandits perform fire ritual in J and K after 700 years

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Mattan (Jammu and Kashmir), Oct 3(ANI): A fire ritual was performed by a batch of 40 Kashmiri Pandits at the Sun Temple in Ranbirsinghpora in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district for the first time in 700 years on Friday.

The All Parties Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC), an organisation of migrant Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir Valley organized the event.

The aim of the ritual was to restore and preserve Kashmiri Pandit culture and religious history.

"We have performed this ritual as it will help in reemergence of Kashmiri culture and promote brotherhood. We want to give a message that if there is secularism anywhere, then it is in Kashmir," said Sanjeev Koul, a migrant Kashmir Pandit.

Several Muslims said they wanted Kashmiri Pandits to return to Kashmir soon.

"We pray to Allah that they come back to this Kashmir, as this Kashmir feels deserted. So, we want Kashmir Hindus to return to their homes as soon as possible," said Ghulam Nabi Khan, a local.

Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits fled from the state after militancy broke out in the Kashmir Valley in 1989.

According to the National Human Rights Commission, about 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave Kashmir following the outbreak of the separatist rebellion.

Some have made their way to Delhi and to other parts of the country.

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Omar Farooq had recently appealed to displaced Kashmiri Pandits to return to return to the state. (ANI)

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