J&K composite townships: Muslims too can live with Kashmiri Pandits, says MHA

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Srinagar, Apr 28: Days after Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured that the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley will be undertaken as promised by the central government, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said that the proposal for composite township is not exclusively for Pandits, but for Kashmiri Muslims as well.

Soon after the government made this announcement Separatist groups including JKLF and all the factions of Hurriyat Conference are protesting against setting up of separate township for Kashmiri Pandits in the valley.

'J&K Muslims too can live with Pandits'

As per a report published in India Today, a Home Ministry official has termed the allegation as "propaganda" by the separatists. ['Conspiracy' to halt return of Kashmiri Pandits: BJP]

"If Muslims want, they can buy property with their own resources and live there (in the composite townships). Since it's a rehabilitation scheme for displaced Kashmiri Pandits, the grant will only be given to them and at least 50 per cent of the houses will be reserved for them," the official said.

The J&K government has reportedly sent a proposal to Centre that displaced Pandits will be given Rs 20 lakh to help them purchase a flat in the township.

But, the proposal has not specifically mentioned that these townships will be only for Kashmiri Pandits.

[Settlement of Kashmiri Pandits: J&K CM making 'u-turn' on the issue, says APMCC]

The Centre is planning to rehabilitate approximately 10,000 Kashmiri Pandit families in the state.

"I don't want to go in the details. The decision taken by the central government regarding rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits has not changed," Rajnath Singh told reporters earlier this month.

"We are concerned about the security of all Kashmiri Pandits, and all people in the Valley," said the Home Minister.

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