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Kashmir's Pandits accuse Election Commission of discrimination against them

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    New Delhi, May 4 (ANI): Kashmir's Pandits staged a silent protest here, saying their names were struck off from the voters' list.

    Most of Kashmiri Pandits live in Jammu, and the rest who fled the region reside mostly in New Delhi and other cities across the country. Only about 3,000 still reside in the Kashmir valley.

    The number of Kashmiri Pandits on the voters' list has dropped from nearly 150,000 in 1996 to just 71,000 during the ongoing parliament polls.

    Angry Pandits accused the independent Election Commission of discriminating against them.

    "Right to vote is the biggest asset in democracy, which the Election Commission of India is depriving us of. Our voting strength has been reduced from two hundred thousand to seventy thousand. Imagine the condition of Narendra Modi in Gujarat if 70,000 Muslim voters were removed from the voters list, but since it is a Hindu issue, therefore nobody is speaking," said Prashnik Kher, a protestor.

    According to the National Human Rights Commission, about 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits have been forced to leave Kashmir. But Kashmiri groups peg the number of migrants closer to 500,000. (ANI)

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