19 January 1990 was the day marked as the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir valley. The day was the worst nightmare for many Kashmiri families. Around 5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their houses to spend their lives as refugees in their own country.
Due to the outbreak of terrorism in the valley, many Kashmiri families were the direct target of extremist attacks so to save their lives they left their houses. The day was marked as a black day in the history of India. This was the black day on which many innocent and innocent people became refugees and no one stepped out to wipe their tears.
During the state assembly elections in 1987 that gave birth to the Muslim United Front (MUF) the organization started creating an atmosphere of fear in Kashmir. MUF with the help of Pakistani intelligence agency started propagating the ideas of the Islamic resistance movement.
They later started sponsoring a terrorist group named Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM). The Jammu-Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) also formed its terrorist organization with the help of ISI. In their training camps, they used to spread hatred against Hindus. They convinced many people that the valley needs to be cleaned of its Hindu Population no matter how small their population is. This all led Kashmiri Pandits to leave Kashmir.
From the end of 1980 till the next decade terrorist activities were at their peak. January 1990 was the month that witnessed a large number of terrorist incidents. The NC- Congress lost the plot and President rule was imposed in the State. On 19 January Jagmohan took the charge as the Governor of the erstwhile state. At 9 p.m the valley was reverberating with the Pro- Pakistani slogans being raised by a huge crowd through the loudspeakers. Around thousands of men, women, children came to the streets shouting slogans. Many police officers left their posts and the Kashmiri Pandits were left to defend themselves.
The social media remains flooded with many video clippings of Kashmiri Pandits vowing to return and die in the valley. Many Kashmiri Pandits demanded that the Central Government should settle the people who were living as refugees in their own country for the past 30 years. The Kashmiri Pandits still feel that they are not safe and secure in their native place, Kashmir. Over 3.5 lakh Kashmiris were forced to leave the valley and only a few families have come back while the rest are still spending their lives in refugee camps with the hope to go back to their homes in Kashmir.
Last year when the Central Government abolished Article 370 from J&K and amended Citizenship Act many Kashmiri refugees were happy with the government’s decision. Panun Kashmir convener Agnishakher said, that the decisions of the Union Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given us hope that he will address the pain and misery which the Kashmiri refugees have suffered from the last 30 years. Another person living in a refugee camp in Jammu said that he is hopeful that the government under PM Modi will send them back to their homes in Kashmir.
On the 30th anniversary of the mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir this year, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh said that the center is ensuring the return of Kashmiri Pandits back to their homeland. He said that no one will forget the incident and the injustice done to many Kashmiri brothers and sisters. “We also cannot wipe their tears of becoming refugees in their own country but the Kashmiri Pandits will be back soon to their homeland is a promise of our government and it will be fulfilled” said Shivraj Singh Chouhan, MP CM. In another tweet, Shivraj urged everyone to come together to add the beauty to the paradise on earth, Kashmir, and to return the homes and rights to the Kashmiri Pandits.
The Kashmiri Pandits are now demanding a one-place settlement. According to the All-State Kashmiri Pandit Conference (ASKPC) General Secretary Dr. T K Bhat most of the Kashmiri refugees feel that one place-settlement is the only option to make the community return back to the valley after ensuring their safety and security.
He further said that the government can guard our homes, our colonies but it will be difficult for the government to provide security to each and every refugee who returns back to Kashmir. The UPA government has announced a Rs 7.5 lakh rupees package to every Kashmiri family who is willing to return back to the valley. Several families have filled up the form but only one family has returned according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.