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Delhi: Kashmiri Pandits stage a peaceful protest outside the residence of CM Arvind Kejriwal against his insulting remarks on ‘The Kashmir Files’

Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits gathered outside Arvind Kejriwal’s residence after his disparaging remarks against ‘The Kashmir Files’ in the Delhi Assembly.

Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits staged a protest outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s house in Delhi against his recent comments in the legislative assembly where he mocked ’The Kashmir Files’, a movie that chronicles the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits and their subsequent exodus.

A group of Kashmiri pandits marched from the Indraprastha College of Women to the residence of CM Kejriwal on Flagstaff Road in Civil Lines.

The protest was coordinated by ‘India 4 Kashmir’, an organization that works on the issue of Kashmir and Kashmiri Pandits. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s words against “Kashmiri Hindu Genocide” were criticised by India 4 Kashmir (I4K), a pan-India campaign to recapture the lost ground and rehabilitate Indians in Kashmir with dignity and pride.

A peaceful protest was held outside Kejriwal’s residence by activists from this movement, as well as other Kashmiri Pandits and civil society people. The protesters voiced their displeasure with his disrespectful statements and ridicule of the “Kashmiri Hindu Genocide.”

OpIndia went to the protest site for on-the-ground reporting and covered the whole event. The protesters were halted outside the street and were not permitted to approach Kejriwal’s home. This came up as a result of claims of violence outside of CM’s home. However, there were no traces of violence in the area that we could see. A group that was earlier demonstrating at the spot made some small sloganeering, and some of the protestors went ahead and threw red ink on the gate of the CM’s residence.

Kashmiri Pandits express their discontent against Kejriwal for refusing to grant tax privileges to ‘The Kashmir Files’

OpIndia contacted a few people and inquired about their opinions and the reasons for their protest. Kusum Pandita, a Kashmiri Pandit who was among the protestors, expressed her disappointment with Kejriwal’s words. He granted tax exemption to other films, but not The Kashmir Files, she said. This demonstrates his partiality and crooked mentality.

Another person, Ratno Rudra, who is a resident of Delhi, also shared his anger toward CM Kejriwal. He stated that the statement made by Arvind Kejriwal exposes his insensitive mindset. He further stated that the foundation on which Arvind Kejriwal has made his empire is based on lies. “He lied about the appointment of Kashmiri migrant teachers. He is getting advantage of planned media to get things whitewashed,” he stated. Rudra also added that the work done by the central government is commendable and further steps that are being planned are in better vision.

Protesters also shouted slogans and carried with them roses with getting well soon wishes inscribed on them. The main demand of the protestors was to give these flowers to Arvind Kejriwal and wish him better health.

However, they were denied further entry and were forced to return to the barriers outside the roadway, placing all of their flowers and banners on the barricades. The protestors were very disappointed as they were denied entry even when they had prior permission for the event.

For Saksshi Mattoo, a Kashmiri Pandit herself, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s insulting remarks for a movie that depicted the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus in the Valley betrayed that he is suffering from some illness. “The way Kejriwal mocked the atrocities meted out on our children, our sisters like Girija, reveals that he is ill and therefore, we are here to wish him get well soon,” Mattoo said.

India 4 Kashmir stated in its press release that the protest was a peaceful medium to express solidarity with the victims and survivors of genocide
rendered homeless by Islamic terrorism since 1990. “His statement in the Delhi Assembly mocking and terming our genocide as ‘fake’ had come as a shock to the community and has been received as insulting to the victims and survivors of genocide,” it added.

“As a mother, I am pained by his words and especially affected by his laughing on such a serious matter of genocide,” Purnima Kaul, Rajashthan Coordinator I4K, who travelled all the way from Jaipur to join in the demonstrations, said. “Since then, I haven’t been able to sleep.”

“Denial of Genocide is enabling it,” Rohit Kachroo, National Coordinator, I4K, remarked. It’s an international crime, and Arvind Kejriwal agreed with the culprits by referring to the whole video as “Jhooti” or “Fake.” He went on to say that India 4 Kashmir strongly rejects his words made in the temple of democracy, calling it “a dark day in the history of the Delhi Assembly.”

“India 4 Kashmir also requests the Government of India to pass the Genocide Bill unanimously thereby recognizing and codifying it officially,” the press release further added.

Note: Anupam Singh of OpIndia Hindi also contributed to this report.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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