This year marks 30 th year of forced displacement of aboriginal Kashmiri Hindu community from their natural habitat in Kashmir valley. In an effort to keep alive the memory of exodus the community observes Kashmiri Hindu Holocaust day on 19th January every year. This year the commemoration was observed in the backdrop of historic decision taken on August 5 by the Union government.
This year the Hindus of Kashmir routinely commemorated day across India and several offshore locations throughout the globe with much larger participation and commitment. The event was marked with welcoming the historic decisions of neutralization of Art 370, abrogation of 35A, reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir state and the recent amendment act to Citizenship Act (CAA).
In one such commemoration held in Auckland, New Zealand, Kashmiri Pandit reiterated their demand for ‘Panun Kashmir’. The event was organized in Auckland, NZ, by Indian Association (Manukau) of New Zealand (IAM) saw large attendance of Indian Diaspora and native population of the region. The commemoration was also attended by security expert Major and prominent TV panelist Maj (Retd) Gaurav Arya who expressed full solidarity with the exiled Hindus of Kashmir.
Speaking on the occasion Maj (Retd) Gaurav Arya expressed concern about the Genocide of Kashmiri Hindus, said, “The Indian Government needs to talk about Kashmiri Pandits more,” adding, “I am shocked to see the radicalization that is prevalent in Kashmir valley these days.”
He further said, “I see Pandits coming back to valley is through brute force, as peaceful resettlement is just not possible in my opinion.”
Speaking on the occasion Veer Khar, a Kashmiri Hindu and president of IAM living in New Zealand said, “It has been 30 years since we have been living in hell, in camps. Now we want to go home..” Explicitly expressing the demand of the community, he said, “We want Panun Kashmir, which is to carve out a separate Homeland for the community in Kashmir with a Union Territory status.”
Revealing that Kashmiri Hindu Holocaust Day on 19 th January is a global event, he said, “The event is being held across 40 countries in world under the umbrella of Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD) where our goal is to highlight suffering and demand justice for Genocide.”
Welcoming the historic decision of Modi Government, Sanjay Mujha said, “Among other things Kashmiri women can now buy real estate and transfer property to children even if they get married to a non resident which was not the case before.”
Other speakers shared their views and expressed solidarity with the Government of India over the epochal decisions taken in national interest.