Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) suffered yet another setback on Monday as senior leader Anil Dhar resigned from the party, blaming its leadership for holding former governor Jagmohan responsible for the migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in 1990. Dhar also objected to the recent statements of NC leadership with "communal overtones and bias against Hindus".
Dhar, who was earlier NC's vice-provincial president of the Jammu region, announced the decision to quit the party on Monday night.
"I regret to point out that leadership of NC has lost interest in the cause of Kashmiri Pandits. This was recently highlighted when the leadership of NC recently said the then Governor Jagmohan was responsible for the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus," he said.
Anil Dhar remarked that various other statements and utterances from the leadership of NC do not instil any sense of confidence in the Kashmiri Hindu community who have faced the worst kind of persecution, genocide, and mayhem for over 30 years. In fact, the recent statements of party President Omar Abdullah reflect communal overtones and a feeling of bias against Hindus, he added.
Dhar said he has lost faith in the National Conference leadership and tendered resignation from the basic association of the party with which he was associated for the past 35 years. The NC leader's resignation comes at a time when the delimitation process is in progress, paving the way for elections to be held in J&K.
While addressing the Kashmiri pandits in NC's Jammu headquarters, NC Supremo Farooq Abdullah had recently blamed ex-J&K Governor Jagmohan for the 1990 exodus - without naming him. He said the Kashmiri Hindus was yet awaiting their return to the Valley as those who promised it had failed to deliver. Lamenting at their suffering, Abdullah also lashed out at the Centre for revoking Article 370.
On 19 January 1990, the day Governor Jagmohan took charge, Kashmiri Pandits were driven out of the Valley when a message was issued by terrorists over loudspeakers from mosques and on the streets - 'Convert to Islam, leave the land or die'. Amid the massive panic, over 350,000 Pandits have escaped from the Valley in the next few months - March and April, while hundreds of Pandits were tortured, killed, and raped. According to several Kashmiri scholars, the wave of exodus continued till 2000, leaving several Kashmiri Pandits languishing in refugee settlements, unable to return to their ancestral land.