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Delhi school renamed after prominent Kashmiri Pandit leader Tika Lal Taploo

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New Delhi, Mar 28: A municipal school in north Delhi has been "renamed" after prominent Kashmiri Pandit leader Tika Lal Taploo, who was gunned down in Srinagar 33 years ago, a senior civic official said on Sunday. The move comes amid a raging debate on the Kashmiri Pandit's issues triggered by the controversial film 'The Kashmir Files'. A ceremony was hosted by the BJP-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) on Sunday to mark the rechristening of the school, with Union minister Jitendra Singh as the chief guest. "The 'NDMC Primary School 7-B', located at Sector-7, Rohini has been renamed after 'Shaheed Teeka Lal Taploo'. He was an unsung hero and this is a tribute from us to the late leader," said Alok Sharma, chairman of NDMC education committee, according to news agency PTI.

Delhi school renamed after prominent Kashmiri Pandit leader Tika Lal Taploo

Sharma, also a local municipal councillor from Ward no. 59 Rohini H, said he had "moved the proposal to rename the school after Tika Lal Taploo, a prominent Kashmiri Pandit leader, which was given an anticipatory approval by the mayor". Taploo, also a BJP leader, was gunned down in Srinagar in 1989, and in the film 'The Kashmir Files' his name is mentioned too. The "inspiration" to rename the school after him, came from this film, he said. Union minister Singh, tweeted pictures of the ceremony and recalled the "exodus" of the Kashmiri Pandits after the violence "In aftermath of Kashmiri Pandit exodus & overwhelming terror that followed, voter turn out in 1996 &subsequent elections remained around 10%, which National Conference, Cong manipulated to get their members elected as MLAs,MPs": School in #Delhi named after Tika Lal Taploo," he tweeted. North Delhi Mayor Raja Iqbal Singh, BJP MLA Vijender Gupta, were present on the occasion.

Gupta said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has not only refused to declare 'The Kashmir Files' as a tax-free movie but also shown "insensitivity" to the tragedy of Kashmiri Hindus. The programme was presided over by Sharma. "About a week ago or so, Vijender Gupta ji had approached me, if we can name any park or school or something after Taploo ji. I then moved the proposal as a tribute to this forgotten hero," Sharma said. "Taplu ji was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and an advocate in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir," Jitendra Singh was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the NDMC. He was a "great patriot" a key member of BJP in Kashmir, Singh said. "He was a great leader of Kashmiri Pandits, who was assassinated by terrorists on September 14, 1989.

Tika Lal Taplu ji was a symbol of Kashmiri civilisation. After the partition of the country, the biggest displacement was of Kashmiri Pandits, who had to leave their state, their home. There is a need for research on this in the future," the minister said. Addressing the gathering Singh said that 'The Kashmir Files' movie by Vivek Agnihotri has created awareness about "genocide" of Kashmiri Hindus among the people in the country, according to a statement issued by the BJP.

(PTI)

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