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Ex J&K Governor and saviour of Kashmiri Pandits, Jagmohan Malhotra, passes away

Jagmohan Malhotra was the governor of J&K when the Kashmiri Pandits suffered ethnic cleansing at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists and were forced to flee their homes in 1990s.

On May 3, former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Jagmohan passed away after a brief illness in Delhi. He was 93 years old. A message from his family was posted on his Twitter account saying, “With profound grief, we  inform about the sad demise of Sh Jagmohan. Former Union Minister , Former Governor Jammu & Kashmir.”

He was the governor of J&K when the Kashmiri Pandits suffered ethnic cleansing at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists and were forced to flee their homes in 1990s. His timely intervention helped save the lives of lakhs of KPs who would have otherwise been wiped out by armed terrorists in the valley. For this, he was also known as the ‘saviour of Kashmiri Pandits’. Later, he also served in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government as Union Minister for Urban Development and Tourism.

India pays respect

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called his death a monumental loss for the nation. He said, “Jagmohan Ji’s demise is a monumental loss for our nation. He was an exemplary administrator and a renowned scholar. He always worked towards the betterment of India. His ministerial tenure was marked by innovative policymaking. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”

Film Maker and Kashmir Exodus survivor Ashoke Pandit said, “The saviour of #KashmiriHindus Aadarniya Jagmohan Ji (Ex-Governor of J&K) is no more. You were our saviour who protected our dignity and honour & thus will always remain in our hearts. Heartfelt Condolences to the family. ॐ शान्ति!”

Journalist Aditya Raj Kaul also mourned the demise of Jagmohan Malhotra.

Abrogation of Article 370

Almost a month after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP’s JP Nadda and Dharmendra Pradhan went to meet Jagmohan in the course of BJP’s ‘Sampark Abhiyan’, which is undertaken to connect with prominent society members on the government of India’s landmark decision to abrogate Article 370.

Kashmiri Pandit exodus

In the late 80s and early 90s, provocative slogans like “We want Kashmir, without the men but with KP women” and others were raised by the instigators against the KPs to instill fear among them. This consequently forced them to flee the ancestral land where they had been living for centuries. Kashmiri Pandits were accosted by these jihadis, their homes ransacked and their women raped and men murdered.

The militant cadres of Pakistani based terror groups, JKLF, Hizbul and members of local militia actively participated in hunting down the Kashmiri Pandit residents in the Valley as large sections of local population extended their support to the Jihadis targeting the KPs. A systematic attempt to effect demographic change in the valley was in progress as Kashmiri Pandits were ruthlessly eliminated from the very land they belonged.

Amidst such an agonising turmoil, it was the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Jagmohan Malhotra’s timely intervention that saved lives of lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits by rescuing them from the Valley besieged by zealots baying for their blood to the safer places in other parts of India. Jagmohan is hailed by many Kashmiri Pandits for evacuating them and their remaining family members from the Valley that was gradually descending into the clutches of Islamic militancy.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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