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Heated exchanges at panel discussion over Kashmir

The discussion took a sour turn when R K Mattoo, a Kashmiri Pandit said, he was proud of the India army as it is one of the most disciplined in the world.

By: PTI | Bengaluru |
August 13, 2016 10:47:23 pm

A panel discussion in Bengaluru turned chaotic on Saturday, as some “pro-freedom” Kashmiris entered into heated arguments with a Kashmiri Pandit leader for hailing the Indian Army.

The chaos took place soon after R K Mattoo, Kashmiri Pandit leader and former journalist, said, “Army is present everywhere in the North-East, Kashmir and other sundry places. I can tell you proudly that the Indian army is one of the disciplined army in the world.”

The “pro-freedom” Kashmiris objected to Mattoo’s remarks, leading to heated exchange of words took place, which eventually resulted in panelists appealing to the contending parties in the hall to maintain silence.

However, the police posted at the event had to intervene to douse the raging anger between the two sides.

After the situation was brought under control, Mattoo urged the Amnesty International to highlight the sufferings of Kashmiri Pundits, whose problems have never been highlighted or taken up by any international agencies.

Mattoo said it is not the story of the sufferings of the Muslim “brothers” alone in Kashmir but also Kashmiri Pandits who have been victims of terrorism.

“We are sufferers and you (Muslim brothers) are the sufferers. Please don’t allow people from across the border Pakistan to take advantage of us,” he said during the panel discussion organised by United Theological Society in Bangaluru.

“We have been suffering as refugees for the last 27 years,” Mattoo said.

“Like the Muslim brothers even the Kashmiri Pandits have suffered and have been hounded out of the Kashmir in January 1990, Mattoo said.

He said 800-odd Kashmiri Pandits, including women and children, were killed brutally by terrorists, but not a single FIR was registered against anybody.

Mattoo further lamented that the perpetrators of the atrocities including JKLF chief Yasin Malik are roaming free.

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“So, this is not the story about Muslim brothers, but also Kashmiri Pandits who suffered in one stroke and lost 800-odd people but we left everything there and fled,” he said.

“Today we are settled all over the world. Only thing is we have lost our homeland which we are going to go back. We are not going leave it like that,” he said.

Soon after the panel discussion, the “pro-freedom” Kashmirs raised slogans and left the venue.

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