Maha CM Uddhav On Kashmiri Pandits Issue, Says ‘Firmly Behind Them’

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday expressed concern about the “targeted killings of Hindus and Kashmiri Pandits” in the Kashmir Valley. Kashmiri Pandits were fleeing the Valley, Thackeray, who also heads the Shiv Sena, said in a statement here.

“Kashmiri Pandits were shown the dream of `ghar vapasi’ (resettlement in the Valley), but they are being targeted and killed. The exodus of Pandits is shocking,” he said.

The chief minister assured the Pandit community that “Maharashtra is firmly behind them.”

In 1995, when the Shiv Sena-BJP coalition came to power in Maharashtra, Sena founder Bal Thackeray ensured a quota in educational institutes in the state for the children of Kashmiri Pandits, he noted. “Our government is in touch with Kashmiri Pandit leaders and will do everything it can for their protection,” Thackeray further said.

“We will do whatever is possible for Kashmiri Pandits, we will not leave them in the lurch. As Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra chief minister, I can only promise that Maharashtra will stand firmly behind the Kashmiri Pandits in these difficult times,” his office quoted the CM as saying, according to a report by the Hindustan Times.

Over the last few months, there has been an increase in civilian attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, with 13 people killed by terrorists in three months. Many members of the community have reportedly left the Valley with their families.

The central government held a high-level meeting with top officials on Friday. At the meeting, Amit Shah, Ajit Doval, J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha, army chief General Manoj Pande, and J&K police chief Dilbag Singh discussed the Amarnath Yatra, which begins on June 30.

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