Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits: What events led to the tragedy of 1990

Exodus of Kashmiri Pandits: What events led to the tragedy of 1990

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, March 14, 2022, 04:15 PM IST
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Thirty-two years on, the wounds of the exiled Kashmiri Pandit community have not healed. However, they have still not lost hope of returning to their homeland someday.


It is 30 years since the “exodus” from the Valley of its minority Hindu Kashmiri Pandit community. The hotly contested circumstances of their departure between January and March 1990, the numbers, and the issue of their return are an important side to the Kashmir story that has fed into the Hindu-Muslim polarisation in India over the years, in turn fuelling the Hindu-Muslim chasm in the Valley.

On January 20, CRPF machine guns left over 50 Kashmiri Muslim demonstrators dead and scores injured in a peaceful procession at Gawkadal. Kashmiri Muslims remember 21 January as ‘the beginning of the genocide’ — ‘the first massacre’.


'September 1989

Pandit political activist, Tika Lal Taploo is shot dead by armed men outside his residence.

1990

Massive crowds assemble in mosques across valley, shouting anti-india, anti-pandit slogans. The exodus of Kashmiri Pandits begins. In the next few months, hundreds of innocent Pandits are tortured, killed and raped. By the year-end, about 350,000 Pandits have escaped from the Valley and taken refuge in Jammy and elsewhere. Only a handful of them stay back.

On 2 February 1990, Satish Tikoo, a young Hindu social worker was murdered near his own house in Habba Kadal, Srinagar.

On 13 February 1990, Lassa Kaul, Station Director of Srinagar Doordarshan, was shot dead.

On 29 April 1990, Sarwanand Kaul Premi, a veteran Kashmiri poet was gruesomely murdered. Several intelligence operatives were assassinated, over the course of January.

On June 4, 1990, Girija Tickoo, a Kashmiri Hindu teacher was gang raped by terrorists, who ripped her abdomen and chopped her body into two pieces with a saw machine while she was still alive.

1992

In December 1992, Hriday Nath Wanchoo, a trade union leader and human rights activist, was murdered with Kashmir separatist Ashiq Hussain Faktoo being convicted for the murder.

March 1997

Terrorists drag out seven Kashmiri Pandits from their houses in Sangrampora village and gun them down.

January 1998

23 Kashmiri Pandits, including women and children, shot in cold blood in Wandhama Village.

March 2003

24 Kashmiri Pandits, including infants, brutally shot dead in Nadimarg Village.

2012

Thousands of Pandits still languish in refugee settlements of 8 x 8. After more than two decades, the Kashmiri Pandit community has still not been able to return to their ancestral land. They are dispersed all over from Jammu to Johannesburg."

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