Call for Return of Kashmiri Pandits Has to be Taken by Community, Says CRPF DG

The atmosphere is conducive for anyone to visit Kashmir but the call for return of Kashmiri Pandits has to be taken by the community or “agencies”, CRPF Director General (DG) Kuldiep Singh said on Thursday. The chief of the country’s largest paramilitary force, which has deployed close to 65,000 personnel in the Kashmir Valley, said the CRPF’s duty is to ensure that “whenever they are asked to make the atmosphere conducive (for anyone or anything) by the government, they will do it”.

“The atmosphere is conducive for anyone to visit Kashmir, come and go. For Kashmiri Pandits, that call has to be taken by them or agencies. I don’t know that…,” Singh said. He also said that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will vacate the premises of those Kashmiri Pandits who come back to “claim” their ancestral properties in the Valley.

The force, in Kashmir, has in its possession as many as 737 premises on which it has established camps and offices. These include 333 government buildings, 265 private buildings, including those of Kashmiri Pandits, 71 pieces of agricultural land, 26 industrial units or factories, 30 hotels, eight orchards, two cinema halls, a school and a hospital.

Singh said the force has been transferred 524 kanals of land for creating its camps at 10 locations in Jammu and Kashmir. The administration of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir pays rent to owners in case of private properties, a senior CRPF officer said.

“If they (Kashmiri Pandits) come to claim their properties held by us, we have no objections. We will immediately seek another place from the government,” the DG said. Asked if the about 3.25 lakh personnel strong force will hold an exclusive screening of “The Kashmir Files” movie for its staff, Singh said the CRPF has not taken a call on this as of now.

“Any film or drama that has motivational or inspirational content should be watched. We are a big force that is spread across…we will have to make arrangements. We will think about it,” he said. “The Kashmir Files” is a Bollywood film based on the atrocities against Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley.

The CRPF will hold its 83rd Raising Day on March 19 in Jammu where Union Home Minister Amit Shah will take the salute of the ceremonial parade and also address troops. The minister will subsequently chair a multi-agency security meeting on various operations being conducted by them in the Union Territory.

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