In a move that can dynamically change the political atmosphere in Kashmir, the Narendra Modi government is planning to revive the plan of resettling nearly 200,000-300,000 Hindu migrants/ pandits in secured camps in Kashmir.
The proposal, according to the ruling BJP's National General Secretary, Ram Madhav, is a step towards fulfilling the promises made to the displaced Pandit community, who fled the valley during the early 1990s when the militant insurgency broke out.
Ram told Reuters that the move to establish segregated enclaves for migrant Hindus in Muslim dominated Kashmir valley has been on BJP's agenda for a long time, but couldn't be implemented earlier.
The BJP-Peoples Democratic Party Coalition had also drawn a similar proposal earlier, which was aimed towards resettling the Kashmiri Pandits in the valley, by providing them with separate land and other essential facilities in the outskirts of Srinagar and other districts.
Various employment schemes were also floated to recruit the Pandits in government services. However, the deteriorating security scenario in the state proved to be a limiting factor and the plan could not be implemented.
"Their fundamental rights of returning to the valley have to be respected. At the same time, we have to provide them proper security," Ram told Reuters. He accepted that the BJP and its ex-coalition partner couldn't arrive at a consensus on the proposed move.
Ram said that the BJP will come to power in the state in the upcoming state polls and would implement the policy in letter and spirit. "I am sure when we come back to power, we will again take it up and try and see if a solution can be found," he said.
India's home minister Amit Shah has also expressed his willingness to resettle the Kashmiri migrant Hindus back in the valley. However, the proposed segregated camps for the Hindus have been criticised by the majority Muslim community and the political leadership in the valley.
The separatist group, All-Parties Hurriyat Conference, which recently met various members of Kashmiri Pandit community said that the idea of settling them in separate camps would prove to be futile and would further lead to their alienation.
"If you put them in separate colonies, in settlements and under barbed wire, that kills the whole purpose of trying to build, again, a community, which is based on mutual trust and respect," said APJHC chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.