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Rise in divorce cases among Kashmiri Pandits; survey

Written by: Staff

Jammu, Apr 19 (UNI) Divorce cases among the Kashmiri Pandits are on the rise due to displacement, unemployment, frustration and tension following militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, according to findings.

''Kashmiri migrants have reportedly registered high cases of divorce in the matrimonial court during the last several years, '' said a retired senior IAS officer, M L Kaul, who headed the survey conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir Centre for Minorities Studies.

He said Kashmiri Pandits are most affected from militancy in the valley which has resulted in their displacement. ''This is the main reason to finding it difficult to enjoy marital bliss among themselves.'' According to the survey during the recent years, the divorce petitions filed by Kashmiri Pandits, living in exile have increased by 35 to 40 per cent. Citing matrimonial court records, the Centre has revealed in its voluminous report that in 1995 out of 250 divorce petitions filed in the state, 30 were Kashmiri Pandits.

In 2001, as many as 300 cases out of 976 were filed by Pandits while in 2002, 200 were filed in the age group 25-40 out of 600 petitions by them.

However, Justice S K Jamwal, who heads the matrimonial court, said since education graph in the Pandit community was very high they were more aware of their legal and social rights.

According to Princy Bharti, she had filed a divorce petition in the court as her husband was unemployed and a drug addict while Shivani Dhar had initiated legal proceeding against her husband because he did not stop consuming liqour.

The other factors responsible for increase in divorce cases include poverty and lack of congenial atmosphere.

The report said marital status among the migrants had undergone significant changes during the post-migration period because of breakdown in the traditional family structure and influence of other cultures. The percentage of Kashmiri boys and girls entering into inter-caste marriages has increased as it was a rare phenomenon before the migration.

It has gone up to 7.38 per cent as against less than three per cent 16 years ago, the report added.


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