The Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha on July 16 chaired a high-level meeting on the return of the Kashmiri Pandits to the Union Territory. The LG has directed officials to take proactive steps to facilitate the rerun of those who faced exodus in 1990. The meeting that happened in Raj Bhavan also witnessed LG Sinha's instructions to roll out directions of proper communication with the entire community. The administration is also directed to ensure that the entire Kashmiri pandit population was registered with J&K Government
Emphasizing upon turning dreams of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits into reality, the Union Territory chief directed Government officials to ensure that the benefits reach all the migrants falling under the category. The Lieutenant Governor also took a stock of the current situation while delivering the instructions that officials need to undertake at the earliest for the return of the Kashmiri Pandits.
The year 1990-91 has been a dark period for the Kashmiri Pandits as they were forced out of the Valley under the threat of violence by the extremists who took control of their homeland. The radicals had given Pandits only 2 options, either to convert to Islam or suffer their wrath.
As a result, the Kashmiri Pandits were forced to seek refuge elsewhere in India. As of 2016, only 2,000 to 3,000 Kashmiri Hindus remained in Kashmir Valley compared to approximately 30,000 to 60,000 in 1990. Consequently, 19 January 1990 came to be known by Kashmiri Hindus as "Exodus Day", in memory of the Kashmiri Hindus who were either killed or forced out of Kashmir.
Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandit devotees had gathered in Ragnya Devi temple in the Tulmula area of Ganderbal district earlier, in June to celebrate the Kheer Bhawani Mela. Chanting religious hymns, the devotees congregated at the temple and paid their obeisance, and the local Muslims were seen selling the materials for offerings that include earthenware lamps and flowers, outside the temple.
"There are fewer pilgrims this year and that is because of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Maharaj Krishan, a Kashmiri Pandit who had come from Jammu to pay his obeisance at Devi’s temple.