Congress’ leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday sought to corner the ruling BJP over the exodus of minorities from Kashmir in 1990s, saying then Leader of Opposition Rajiv Gandhi had urged the then VP Singh government to intervene and stop the “atrocities” being committed on Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs.
The exodus of people from Kashmir Valley began only after then Jammu and Kashmir governor Jagmohan asked them, especially Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs, to leave, saying he would not be able to protect them, Chowdhury said in Lok Sabha while raising the issue during Zero Hour.
“Terrorists and jihadis began committing atrocities on all Pandits and Sikhs,” he said, adding “The V P Singh government was then running with the support of the BJP.”
At that time, Mr Chowdhury said, the then Congress president and Leader of Opposition Rajiv Gandhi had raised his voice against the exodus of people from Kashmir, and asked the then government to stop it “anyhow”, warning that people of the country would not accept it.
“At that time, Rath Yatra of Lal Krishna Advani ji began and (Narendra) Modi ji, our (current) Prime Minister, became event manger of this yatra,” he charged.
Raising the issue later during Zero Hour, BJP member Sunil Kumar Singh demanded that the government start a probe into the “large scale atrocities” committed on Hindus and Sikhs in Kashmir from 1980 to 1990, especially in the period between 1984 to 1989 when Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister, and culprits be punished.
He also demanded that a probe be conducted to ascertain on whose orders a total of 70 terrorists were released in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989.
“These terrorists played a role in genocide….nation wants to know,” he said.
The debate surrounding the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits has been reignited following the release of a film on it — ‘The Kashmir Files’.