30 Years ago on January 19, 1990, it was cold, dark night when nearly five lakh Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave the Valley following a genocidal campaign unleashed by the militants.
Slogans of “Ralive, Tsalive ya Galive (convert to Islam, leave the place or perish)”, “Kashmir mei agar rehna hai, Allah-O-Akbar Kehna hai” reverberated from the mosques and streets, the Kashmir Pandits were forced to leave their homeland.
Advertisements by terrorist organisations were also published in local newspapers warning Pandits to leave the Valley. Lakhs of Pandits were targeted by extremists, virtually turning them into refugees in their own country.
In effect, the Pandits, who had been subject to selective abductions, torture, and killing, were finally warned by the whole populace of Kashmir, not just the terrorist groups, to quit and leave their women behind.
According to Jammu and Kashmir government, around 808 Pandit families still reside in the valley. Till October 2015, only 1 Kashmiri Pandit returned. After the UPA government’s financial package to aid Kashmiri Pandits, 1,800 Kashmiri Pandits have returned.
The number of Kashmiri Pandits who had run off is estimated to be between 1 lakh to 3 lakh.
30 years after exodus | Timeline:
Thousands of Pandits still languish in refugee settlements of 8 x 8.
Nadimarg Village: 24 Kashmiri Pandits, including infants, brutally shot dead
Wandhama Village: 23 Kashmiri Pandits, including women and children.
Sangrampora village: Kashmiri Pandits dragged out from their houses and gunned.
Slogans Raised: Large crowds gather in mosques across the valley, shouting anti-India, anti-pandit slogans.
Tika Lal Taploo, Pandit political activist shot dead by armed men outside his residence.
30 Years After Exodus |Community awaits return to homeland
“मै एक कश्मीरी पंडित हूँ!” This video about #KashmiriPandits exodus was shot 4 years back at @TimesNow studio. It is not a short story. It actually happened 30 yrs back on 19th Jan, 1990. Watch it, retweet it. ?
30 years of Kashmiri Pandit’s exodus https://t.co/0V2NseQFEW
— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPKher) January 18, 2020
#HumWapasAayenge trends on Twitter to mark the 30th anniversary of the mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley
As my father @HanduVinod said:#HumWapasAayenge
For we know, the children can ‘sleep’ soundly only in the tender arms of a mother.
Longing for ‘Maej Kasheer’ continues.@rahulpandita@sunandavashisht#KashmiriPandits #Kashmir30SaalBaad #KPExodusday pic.twitter.com/oYvrI5Auzj
— Puneet Handu ?? (@TweetingKoshur) January 18, 2020
This is what we Kashmiri Pandits have lost, and this is what we will reclaim. From my last visit to homeland Kashmir at the famous Dal Lake which has been a witness to our gory tales of exodus. It will be 30 years tomorrow on 19th January 2020. Never forget. #HumWapasAayenge pic.twitter.com/nbmtSquVZz
— Chandan Sadhu (@chandansadhu) January 18, 2020
My first photograph in exile from home on 19th/20th January, 1990 at Jammu. Today we complete three decades in exile. Thirty years of longing to return to Kashmir. Ancestral house turned into ashes by Islamist Azadi wallahs. Years now fade into decades. #HumWapasAayenge pic.twitter.com/ETGQMlUHNw
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) January 19, 2020
30 years of exile from Kashmir. Let us now pledge that we will return home.
— Rahul Pandita (@rahulpandita) January 17, 2020
January 19, is remembered as the ‘Exodus Day’ by the Kashmiri Pandits as it marks the exodus of the members of the community from Kashmir.