India to follow Israel’s model to settle Hindus in IOK: Indian Envoy
New York, November 27, 2019 (PPI-OT): India’s Consul General to the US in New York city, Sandeep Chakravorty, has said that Narendra Modi-led Indian government will build settlements modeled after Israel to ensure the colonization of Hindu population in occupied Kashmir. Sandeep Chakravorty was speaking to Kashmiri (Hindu) Pandits and Indians in New York.
“I don’t know why we don’t follow it. It has happened in the Middle East. If the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it,” Chakravorty said, referring to the illegal settlements implemented by Israel to occupy Palestine.
The event was organized to present Indian filmmaker Vivek Agnihorti’s forthcoming project on the displacement of Kashmiri Hindus in the early 1990s, a narrative being pushed by Modi’s administration to justify the occupation of Kashmir, especially appealing to Kashmiri Hindus, known as Pandits, who have been promised their “return” to the occupied territory.
“I think the return of Kashmiri Pandits is being instrumentalized to justify a settler-colonial project in Kashmir,” Mona Bhan, an associate professor of South Asian Studies at Syracuse University in New York said in an interview. Such allegations that Pandits cannot return to their motherland and all their properties were taken over by Muslims have also been discredited. Up till now Pandit houses and lands remain untouched.
On August 5 Modi government revoked the special status of occupied Kashmir by removing constitutional provisions Article 370 and 35-A that prevented non-Kashmiris to purchase any property in the territory. The move will now allow Indian Hindus to purchase properties in Jammu and Kashmir, which activists say warned would be a similar policy to that of Israeli settlements in Palestine.
Along with revoking the special status, the government divided occupied Kashmir in two Union Territories, meaning they will be directly ruled by India. The exodus of Kashmiri Pandits has been used by consecutive Indian governments to legitimize their violence on Kashmiri Muslim population. The Indian government is saying that their measure will help Kashmiri Pandits go back and buy their lands. The fallacy of the logic lies in the fact that Kashmiri Pandits do not have to buy back their lands.
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