II: Chapter 9
GRAB AND ARSON KASHMIRI PANDIT PROPERTIES
their crusade launched with utmost fire and fury to establish a radical
theocratic system, cleansing the land of Pandit infidels, the Muslim terrorists
uncritically accepted as Mujjahids by the Muslim population went whole-hog
to buttress up and fine-tune the record of gory traditions of their ancestors
who roasted people alive and ripped open the foetuses of pregnant women
and resorted to loot, plunder and massacre for whole-sale conversion thereby
adding horrendous chapters to the despicable book of barbarity. Unflinching
in their obedience to the tradition of tyrants, tile new brand of Muslim
terrorists concealing their identities under resounding and high-flown
Islamic names could not be found wanting in perpetuating the memory of
vandals and consummating the holy task assigned to them by cesspits of
Madrasas as the creation of Islamic fanatics. let them goes the credit
of performing the sacred rites of loot and pillage, rape and arson.
Once the Kashmiri
Pandits have been forced to flee their homes and hearths to uncharted destinations,
Nemesis started her dreadful operations. Having looted and ransacked their
living abodes, the terrorists and their large mass of Muslim collaborators
displayed their fiendishness by torching off the Pandit houses built with
the sweat and blood of their life-time earnings. As tribals in 1947 had
been lured to the loot and rape of bazars in Srinagar, the Muslims lending
unmitigated support to the surge of armed insurgency were promised loot,
plunder, rape and unbridled appropriation of Pandit properties.
The loot and
pillage of Pandit houses was carried out under a well calibrated plan and
strategy. As a first step they were marked red to stand them out from the
mixed populations for purposes of loot, rapacious appropriation and arson.
For looting operations areas were assigned to the gangs of looters working
in cohesion with mosque committees and experts churned out from Madrasas.
A lightning operation for stealing rubber shoes from Pandit houses was
conducted by the same elements with mosques as pivotal centres and to the
knowledge of all mosques had mushroomed at a quick pace in strategic areas
with the massive aid of petro-dollars pouring in from channels abroad through
local conduits. After the launch of insurgency the waves of looters replicating
their history in time tanned out in various directions to get lost into
the Pandit habitations and returned gage with immense booty to the precincts
of mosques for distribution leaving a chunk for mosque committees led by
hard-core Mullahs fanged with bigotry and separatism. The frenzied looters
reflecting the apachi culture that has long been the essential ethos of
Kashmir are said not to be the traditional thieves and anti-socials, but
well-off and prosperous guys suffused with ferocious vengeance and anti-Pandit
venom. Overpowered by predatory and confiscatory persuasions, acquired
and instinctive, assiduously nurtured and cultivated in the Quranic schools,
the Muslim looters broke open the doors and windows or bored burrow-like
openings like predatory animals for access into the houses for loot and
plunder. It will be a miracle if any Kashmiri Pandit house has escaped
the looting sprees. The entire Pandit habitations scattered over the fertile
valley have suffered not one bout of loot and plunder, but several such
spells of depredations and ravages.
To the shame
of the shameless, the Islamic looters set up bazars where the looted property
was openly put to sale. The markets picked up for the purpose were not
confined to the towns in the valley, but the looted goods were pushed into
the national market from Jammu to Delhi to Bombay to Calcutta. Brass utensils
spirited away from the kitchens of Pandit houses were pulverised into bits,
stuffed into bags and sent across the border as proof of their true Islamic
orientation which had faked and lost its sheen by an overlaying of Brahmanic
culture. Gas cylinders stolen in spells of loot from the ravaged houses
were kept without any twinge of conscience and when their numbers swelled
beyond any count, they were openly sold as if slaves were being sold to
the Muslim buyers in the slave-market of Turkistan. The shawls of various
varieties maintained as the prized possessions looted from the abodes of
expelled natives are said to be sold to the sophisticates throughout the
national market especially the Bengali market where patronage is lavishly
showered on pedlars of loot. Radio-sets, Television sets, wall clocks,
sewing machines, newly sewn suits and dresses, saris of prominent delicacy
al acquired through organised loot and legitimised as booty are kept
to swell the stocks of those either in business or venture to float new
businesses The merciless looters engaged in "wiping out" operations against
the religious enemies have not spared their mattings and beddings thereby
beefing up the quantum of their material properties considered a value
in desert cultures. With the looted properties from Pandit houses businesses
have been diversified or rendered a specialised touch. There are looters
who are said to peddle in all sorts of electronic goods and gadgets acquired
through loot. There are others who have set up antique shops dealing in
rare objects dart and artefacts looted from Kashmiri Pandit sophisticates
and plucked out from temples.
wealth of petro-dollars pouring in, Pakistan pumping millions to sustain
and proliferate terrorism and India in response not lagging behind to quench
the blazing fires of insurgency by allowing loot of public moneys or through
huge packages and booty in kitties, the sole beneficiary, they say, is
the Kashmiri Muslim who has visibly scaled new levels of prosperity and
affluence incomparable to what he enjoyed prior to 1988 bench-mark. As
a sure manifestation and indicator of newly acquired opulence and prosperity,
there is an unprecedented construction boom in the valley. New structures
are pompously built and old ones are dismantled and re-built more often
than not with doors and windows, inner ceilings and G.I.E sheets and other
building materials uprooted, plucked out and stripped from the houses of
infidels. Those of their eviscerated houses which are yet standing and
waiting for the date fixed for their blaze have a saga to relate and a
statement to make. They carry grisly scars and gaping wounds as the marauders
in their cycles of plunder and sack have looted away the house-hold effects
that invested them with the throb and feel of pulsating abodes. Their doors
and windows have been pitilessly removed. They are shorn of stones, bricks
and other materials vitally placed to render monolithic wholeness to the
edifices. Inside houses the same loot and plunder has been affected. Almirahs,
ward-robes, electric fittings, water connections, switches, lamp shades,
wash-basins and more than most toys of children and their wooden cradles
have been looted away with savagery. There are houses galore with no roots
to protect them form rains and snows as the ruthless looters in blitzkrieg
operations have sadistically dismantled and removed them for installation
in their own constructions. There are open spaces which once were sites
of throbbing human settlements and piles of blackened ruins covering them
now tell a cruel tale of pillage and plunder.
Sathu Barbarshah, Srinagar there were Kouls living, a cultured and prosperous
family owning four houses which have been razed to the ground said to be
the handiwork of near and distant neighbours. In the brutal operation sixteen
houses belonging to Pandits were levelled storey by storey, wall by wall
and brick by brick and the materials are said to have disappeared into
the houses of apachies. As reported to a humanistic organisation working
for human rights violations three houses belonging to Maharaja Krishen Bhat, Bhasker Nath Bhat and Kanth Ram of village
Malmoh, Tehsil Pattan,
District Baramulla were stripped off the G.I.E. sheets serving as roofs
of the houses on 15th Dec., 1996 by Muslim looters. The said-village as
a Kashmiri Pandit settlement had already suffered orgies of loot and plunder
at the hands of tribal looters enjoying autonomy of destructing the religious
"Those of the houses that have been untorched have the structure of dilapidated
walls only with gaping holes for doors and windows are shorn of all fittings,
including electric and water taps. As per house-hold and personal effects,
these are conspicuously absent. Audio and video tapes alongwith TVs, Video
and audio tape recorders, music systems, stereos, kitchen ranges and kitchen
gadgets, all have been pilfered. Recording details of this rampage and
loot will be ludicrous, bizarre and emotionally painful."
Writes Dr. R.L. Shant, "They have been reduced to a people condemned to suffer bearing
tales of arson and plunder of their belongings left back by them in cities
and villages from the very neighbours who leave no stone unturned in propagating
through terrorist - friendly media in India that they are the custodians
of minorities in Kashmir."
Pandita's House Converted into a Public Latrine
It is dismaying
to learn that the ancestral house of Dr. K.N. Pandita situated at Khowja Bagh, Barmulla though standing and left
untorched, has been converted into
a public latrine at the behest of Muslim bigots. The extreme act of venegefulness
against Dr. Pandita is being attributed to his exemplary role in exposing
the inner motivations of the Muslim brand of terrorism in Kashmir. Dr.
Pandita is a Persian scholar with doctorate from Tehran university and
authority on Kashmir affairs. He has had the rare distinction of attending
a number of international conferences on Human Rights where he as a deft
expert presented the case of Hindus of Kashmir who have been ethnically
cleansed from their autochhem abodes and are in exile.
By the spree
of propaganda that they have blazed abroad and the statements that they
have blurted out it becomes abundantly clear that the Muslim terrorists
are wedded to the cause of Islam which is their soul, faith and driving
ideology. As Pandit infidels have no station and role-model in the parochial
state of theocracy that is envisaged for Kashmir, they have been ethnically
cleansed and ethnic cleansing remains an unfinished agenda if non-Muslims
are allowed to retain their abodes in Kashmir which though presently abandoned
as a result of their expulsion can be reclaimed through pressures, and
intervention from humanistic organisations operating at various levels.
With this rationale in view the Muslim militarists have been assiduously
busy in destroying the roots of Pandits and. roots as a matter of fact
lie deeply embedded in settlements which generate an ethos and a culture
pattern. It is to the achievement of sinister end of complete ethnic cleansing
and also stalling their return to their land of genesis that all shades
of frenzied bigots and dyed-in-the-wool fanatics have embarked upon the
policy-path of burning Pandit settlements and the process has been continuously
on since 1990. What is being done now is only the replication of their
past history. Sayyids way back in the mists of time created waves by decreeing
the total destruction of settlements when Kashmiri Pandits at the end of
the tether of their patience revolted against severe religious persecution
and encroachments on their possessions and assets.
As per a survey
conducted by a non-government organisation nearly thirty thousand Kashmiri
Pandit houses all over the Valley have been torched off thereby rendering
one lakh and fifty thousand Pandits homeless and deracine if an
average family comprises five members. The Report submitted to the National
Human Rights Commission by the Panun Kashmir Movement puts the number of
burnt houses of Hindus at 16,000 till 1995. The Government of J&K State
have been silent over it as the victims being non-Mulsims are not on its
agenda of policy and programme. Under a flawless design of communal diabolerie
and chicanery the entire throbbing habitations of ancient origins have
been liquidated with no traces left behind. There is no Bana-Mohalla which
has been a principal settlement of Pandits with tremendous history in the
life and times of Srinagar as an abode of Culture and spirituality. The
pre-eminent house of Razdans with Bhaskar Razdan as one of its scions has
been burnt to ashes. Bhaskar Razdan is famous for his Sanskrit rendering
of Lalla's vakhs in metrical verse. The house of Kokiloos in the same locality
stands looted and wiped out. A brilliant ancestor of the family is credited
with a work on Sanskrit Grammar which in a manuscript form lies in the
Research Library buried and dumped in gunny bags. There is no Rainawari
nestling in the creeks and inlets of Dal Lake and more than most the birth-place
of Pandit Som Nath Beera who got killed in the hills of Doda while quenching
communal fires. There is no Batapora in Shopiyan which was the seminary
of a galaxy of nationalists who established educational institutions for
Muslims whose descendants have destroyed the locality with a crusading
zeal leading to the exodus of Pandit Swaroop Nath, a house-hold name in
the district, who died in exile. There is no Gushi in Handwara known as mini-Sharda which has been the cradle of spirituality and folk-lore. The
settlement with more than hundred houses has been burnt to cinders by the
Muslims gone berserk. Mattan in the District of Anantnag as an ancient
site of pilgrimage inhabited by Brahman-priests maintaining historically
valuable religious records has been destroyed in blazing fires. Chowagam
in the same district is lost to Pandits as Muslim
vandals have ravaged and blazed the entire habitation. Zainapora, the home-town
of Pandit Rishi Dev, a politician of long standing and Pandit Arjan Dev Majboor, a poet and
literatteur, already in exile, was completely wiped
out by a frenzied mob of thirty thousand Muslims in the wake of Mast Gul,
a Pakistani vandal and brutal lout putting the highly revered shrine of
Nanda Rishi to flames.
The two families
of Pandits staying back in the village were not spared or shown any mercy.
Their houses were first ransacked and then set on fire. Muslims hailed
Mast Gul by crying hoarse, "Chrar bani hani hani, Mast Gul kati bani- Chrar
will be re-built slowly, but Mast Gul is a rare find" and their hurricane
fury as usual fell on Pandits and the paper general and his cortege went
on watching the orgy of death and destruction befalling Pandits who have
not caused portals of governance any anxiety or concern.
in tattered tents, one-room hutments and rented slums, beleaguered Pandits
to their shock and dismay have lost their houses in Malayar, Kralakhud,
Ganpatyar, Gundahlmar, Brayikujan, Zaindar Mohalla, Jawahar Nagar, Fateh Kadal, Saffakadal and Karan
Nagar. Malayar in the city of Srinagar was
a huge sprawling cluster of Pandit houses and it has been burnt down in
blazing fires. The houses in Ganpatyar locality standing along roadside
have been vengefully torched off. Jawahar Nagar having come up as a posh
colony with a modern look and planning presents a scenario of a city sacked
by the prototypes of Nadir Shah. Houses of Pandits in Zaindar Mohalla and
Karan Nagar have met the same fate at the hands of marauders. Babapora
with its interior depths touching the shores of Sheel-teng is a horror
scene of war-ravaged waste land. Narparistan sunk in a maze of narrow lanes
and bye-lanes has been licking its wounds as destruction is wrought on
the Pandit houses which are now a pile of charred ruins.
as per their delineated plans have not confined their acrid war against
the native Pandits to the purlieux of Srinagar, but the hurricane fury
of their Jehad in its broad sweep has engulfed their settlements dotting
the broad terrain of the valley. Poolie contiguous to the spring of Verinag
as a village of Pandit concentration has been obliterated with vengeance.
Anantnag with its tremendous Hindu past has lost most of its edifices which
were sublime in their heights evoking awe and admiration. Verinag with
its pristine waters has been a witness to the gruesome fires which Islamists
lit in the Pandit houses for their decimation. The Islamic gun-totters
have blazed the houses of Pandits in hamlets surrounding Kokernag which
has gone gory with the blood of Pandits. The Muslim arsonists have burnt
down Pandit settlements in Kupwara, Baramulla, Safapora, Chingund, Ratnipora,
Wahibugh, Tahab, Tengapunna, Wachi, Zablipora, Krandigam, Salar, Tral et
eight residential houses of Pandits in Chingund falling in Tehsil Duroo
were burnt to ashes by Muslim marauders. Even cowsheds, kothars and other
structures were not spared. In the FIR filed by the village chowkidar it
is clearly stated that a violent Muslim mob attacked and burnt down all
the houses, cowsheds and kothars of Hindus of the village in the wake of
Babri Masjid episode.
"It is shocking
to learn that the wrath against the Kashmiri Pandits has assumed such proportions
that those houses, which had already been burnt down and their skeleton
structures only stood there, were either again set ablaze or were demolished
or razed to the ground," writes Arvind Razdan.
The grand old
residential house of Pandit Madhav Koul in Anantnag when put to flames
was smouldering, smoking and burning for a month's time. It was a massive
edifice built in stone, brick and deodar, a real monument speaking volumes
for past glory and hence an eye-sore to the Muslim fanatics. The huge building
of Pandit Siri Koul had the same style, grandeur and wood-work and when
set ablaze it continued burning for days on end till it was said to have
been pulled down by looting away its chiseled logs sustaining the weight
of the structure. The house of late Nila Kanth Jad was equally a magnificent
structure that had been the target of Muslims since Islamic resurgence
in Kashmir and finally Muslim cyclone took a toll of it. The house of late
Shridhar Joo Kachru at Babapora in Srinagar when set ablaze continued burning
and smoking for ten days and the same is confirmed by Muslim witnesses
who have oiled and soiled their hands with the loot of the house.
Records K.N. Pandita, "Indeed these mute and lifeless objects are dangerous because
they embody in their lifeless souls the story of a great civilisation that
has been allowed to be systematically destroyed by those very elements
in building whose civilisation and identity Kashmiri Pandits made the largest
There is a
concerted movement going on in Kashmir to dispossess Kashmiri Pandits by
grabbing and appropriating their left-behind immovable properties. All
evidences, material and documentary purporting their Kashmiri origins,
are under a fierce onslaught of Muslims. No government of the day despite
innumerable petitions and submissions ever moved in the direction of protecting
their properties from destruction or unlawful occupation. The properties
which have not been torched off and are yet sending have been grabbed or
are in the process of being seized by the grabbies. Not only have properties
been illegally appropriated but shameless attempts have been made to forge
false and unsustainable documents which have been audaciously presented
in the courts to justify or substantiate the grab and surprisingly some
cases have come to light where courts have issued stay orders without material
evidences and even on the basis of fictitious and false documents hastily
There is a
class of grabbies who do not stick to a house which they grab, but go on
shifting from house to house as per their sovereign will and their essential
targets in the houses are the residues that they lay their sinister hands
on. There is another class of grabbies who are more brutal and under religious
motivations deem it their right to grab the properties of infidels, who,
they believe, are discomfited and have fled the land. Apart from these
two classes are herds of intruders who craftily occupy the houses as a
first step m the game and subsequently as fait accompli negotiate with
the owners through a swarm of touts prowling about Jammu and other metropolises.
The Pandit owners when informed of the forcible occupation of their properties
are shell-shocked, yet do not take it lying down and submit appeals and
plaints in neat language to the concerned authorities in the valley. As
the government is and has been in deep paralysis, there is no response
to their submissions and plaints which convinces them of the sheer fut~hty
of the whole exercise and in despair and desperation are forced to enter
into deals at the prices that are offered to them courtesy Muslim touts.
The grab and
appropriation of Pandit properties which are left behind in the valley
has gained so much of momentum that it has virtually assumed a universal
character. There is hardly a Mohalla, locality, village or hamlet where
properties have not been occupied and grabbed. In Jawahar Nagar alone there
are hundred and eight Kashmiri Pandit houses which are under the illegal
occupation of Muslims who taking advantage of collapsed state of law and
order or in cahoots with broad sections of administration are emboldened
for such intrusion, trespass and grab. In the' posh locality of Karan Nagar,
a Muslim said to be the Head of a Department is said to have grabbed two
houses of a Pandit where he has set up his business venture and is battening
at the expense of a hapless fugitive. The case of forcible occupation was
said to have been brought to the notice of the then Chief Secretary, Ashok
Kumar, who is reported to have cravenly expressed his inability to intervene
in the matter thereby legitimising the loot and the crab. The locality
of Channapora presents a glaring scenario of the forcible appropriation
of Pandit houses where Muslims as a matter of right have been staymg their
put without any government agency either obstructing or stalling such violations
of law of the land. At Gogji Bagh in the cites of Srinagar the three storyed
house of a non-Muslin has been ravaged by one Muslim family leaving and
another entering at will. A Muslim said to be a vegetable seller from Qamarwari
is said to have carted away all the furniture in the house in broad day-light
and surprisingly the Muslim neighbours in their chance meetings at Jammu
always assured the Pandit of the safety of the house and other house-hold
goods and effects. Presently a leader of a renegade militant outfit has
chosen the house for his stay and is at pains to force a deal on the Pandit.
There are instances
galore establishing that shops, business establishments, tracts of cultivable
land and more than most economically lucrative orchards belonging to Pandas
have been illegally occupied, grabbed and appropriated. Shops of Pandits
in prime commercial sites or areas have been under a constant threat of
illegal occupation. From Maharaj Bazar to the end of Residency Road, Srinagar
most of the business establishments of Pandits have been intruded, trespassed
or occupied. It is also stated that after unlawful occupation, may be in
certain cases buttressed by Court verdicts moshy ex-parte, deals
were thrust on the Pandits through Muslim touts. Illegal occupations are
generally realised through landlord-illegal occupant-admmistration nexus.
The sprawling fields of cultivable land and huge thriving orchards have
been grabbed by Musluns who share the proceeds in partership with the terrorist
outfits and conniving authorities. There are a number of such localities
where Muslim hordes vengefully felled the orchards from one end to the
other thereby inflicting immense losses on the Pandit owners. The walnut
trees generally cultivated within the precincts of Pandit houses have been
cruelly felled and wood of the felled trees was kept or disposed of in
the markets fetching a lucrative price to the marauders.
The Jammu and
Kashmir Liberation Front, a banned terrorist outfit, in a bid to establish
its so-called secular credentials, has issued a number of warnings to the
illegal occupants of shops, business establishments and landed properties
belonging to the Pandits and such warnings are a standing and over-arching
testimony to the fact of their illegal usurpation by none other than Muslims.
In a statement
to the press in Jammu, M. Farooqi, leader of the Communist Party of India,
suggested that all the left behind properties in Kashmir valley belonging
to Kashmir Panda migrants should be declared as 'custodian properties'
with a view to rehabilitating them in their native homes and hearths as
and when they return to the valley. Appreciative of the government move
to take the refugees back to the valley, Farooqi made it amply clear that
it could be possible only when their houses are protected (from Muslim
marauders) and maintained bit the government In his meeting with the Chief
Minister and Finance Minister of the state, Farooqi is said to have broached
the subject of the forcible grab of the shop belonging to Janki Dass in
Akhara building, Maisuma by a protege of Dr. Karan Singh under the very
nose of paramilitary picket which was asked to shift its position through
correspondence with B.S.F. authorities by the dejure owner
who was keen to re-start his business. To the suggestion to declare Kashmiri
Pandit properties as "Custodian properties", the Chief Minister and his
Finance Minister to the surprise of Farooqi were said to be in the first
instance non-committal and ambivalent.
Immovable Property Act, 1997
Immovable Property Act, 1997 as passed by the State Legislature establishes
that the Kashmiri Pandit properties have been ravaged, destructed, arsoned
and grabbed by the Muslim majority and the owners of such properties who
have been reduced to absolute penury during the eight-year period of exile
are forced to dispose of their left-behind assets in the form of denuded
houses and cultivable lands and orchards. The Act also establishes the
failure of the State and Central Governments in protecting their properties
from the practicing marauders who have inherited as bequest a history of
rapacity and plunder. The governments could have protected the properties
from the Muslim vandals without the formulation of such an Act as there
are laws galore which could have been invoked to establish rule of law.
It is absolutely shameful that the state which forms a part of Indian territory
had to formulate a distinctive Act for the protection of Pandit properties
despite citizenship rights that stand sanctified by the sovereign constitution.
The governments should have immediately provided protection to the Kashmiri
Pandit properties when the Pandits fell victim to the militarised Islam.
Now when each habitation has been decimated and landed assets are grabbed
the government as an eye-wash has rushed through the legislation without
consulting the Kashmiri Pandits. The reality is that the Pandits are m
distress and are constrained to sell off the properties to eke out an existence
in camps and rented slums. The government should have come out with liberal
loans on softer terms thereby enabling the Pandits to tide over the hardships
that they are faced with during the period of wretched and unhappy exile.
The Act does
not stipulate to put the predators and usurpers on trial for offences that
they have committed thereby reducing a av~ltsed society to the bottom level
of barbarism and expelling even the feeblest ray of modernism and rationality.
about vandalisation of Kashmiri Pandit Properties
A report in
Kashmir Sentinel date-lined Dec. 15,1995 puts:
"After the vandalisation, destruction and forcible occupation of Kashmiri Pandit houses,
it is now a land grab spree in Kashmir. The lands involved are those of
displaced Kashmiri Pandit agriculturists and orchardists who had fled the
valley four years back to escape the torture and tyranny of the terrorists.
different parts of the valley say that land holdings of hundreds of displaced
KP families have so far been illegally taken over by the local Muslims
who manage to get these lands mutated and indications are that hardly any
agriculturist will be left with any land in his nan1e in months to come.
transfers are being done and legalised by the officials of the State Revenue
Department in return for alternative bribes. The method usually adopted
by the land grabbers in connivance with Revenue officials, especially the
Patwaris, is to get some local villagers as witnesses to testify that the
land holdings in question had been sold or transferred by the owners to
the concerned villagers.
number of fraudulent land deals came to light when the displaced Kashmiri
Pandit agriculturists made enquiries about the fate of their land holdings
back in the valley.
In one case
in Baramulla district a village bully backed by a local terrorist group
had not only grabbed the agricultural lands of a KP family, but also had
laid his hands on the family's orchard. In another case in the same district
the land owned by a Pandit family had been shown as belonging to the state
by tampering with Revenue records.
Those who had
grabbed the land had been entered in the records as rightful owners."
further adds, "scores of orchards owned by displaced Kashmiri Pandits had
fallen into the hands of unscrupulous Muslim villagers who made huge profits
which they shared with the local terrorist groups. The land grabbing phenomenon
has attained such alarming dimensions now that the State Government has
issued a circular to check the fraudulent deeds."
The Daily Uqab
Srinagar date-lined Nov.27, 1994 reports: -
"A large area
of land and houses belonging to Kashmiri Pandits near Mohalla Faqir Wani
in Baramulla have been taken over by some people and distributed among
themselves. There are standing pear, apple and walnut trees in this land.
The income from the produce of these trees is pocketed by these people.
The police have not registered any case in this respect so far."
To The National Human Rights Commission
organisation dedicated to the restoration of peace in the valley has taken
up the case of Abdul Karim vs Brij Lal Tamiri with National Human Rights
Commission. Abdul Karim S/o Mohammad Sultan Sheikh, an employee of Military
Engineering Service, has illegally occupied the house of Brij Lal Tamiri
at Shivapora, Srinagar which has remained vacant after the family fled
away from their house in early 1990. After contacting DIG, Kashmir Range,
the owner of the house was informed through an ordinary letter dated: 22nd
May, 1996 that the illegal occupant had approached the court of city Munsif,
Srinagar directing the parties to maintain status quo, thus allowing the
illegal occupation of Brij Lal Tamiri's house by Abdul Karim.
After a thorough
study of the case, the secretary of the NGO, Friends of Kashmir International,
submitted a petition dated: 7th July 1996 to Hon'ble Chairman, NHRC, New
Delhi which reads as under:
"I have been
directed by my NGO to seek your Lordships indulgence in a serious matter
of violation of human rights of the internally displaced persons from Kashmir
valley living in refugee camps in Jammu, Udhampur and other parts of the
country since 1990.
It has come
to the notice of our organisation that there are cases of forcible occupation
by the locals of vacant residential houses, shops, cowsheds or hutments
of displaced persons from the valley. These occupations are all illegal
In order to
regularise forcible and illegal occupation of these places, the entrepreneurs
have contrived forged documents and filed suits in courts of law seeking
to legitimise their forcible occupation. A fraudulent mechanism has been
evolved of issuing court summons to the owners. The Honourable courts knowing
fully well that respondents being a threatened minority community would
not be able to attend its call. What is more, even the summons are invariably
not received by the respondents as these do not bear the correct addresses
of the displaced persons, or get lost in the ordinary mail. Even the notices
issued in local vernacular papers do not reach the displaced persons. Taking
undue advantage of the forced absence of the displaced persons far away
from their native land for last seven years, their inability to protect
their property in absence, their inability to present themselves before
any court of law in the valley even if a summon is received by them and
lastly unwillingness on the part of state authorities to enforce civil
order these illegal occupants move the local courts swiftly to process
against the displaced persons seeking to dispossess or disinherit them
of their properties.
In all fairness
the local courts should not at all entertain such applications as involve
the properties of displaced persons only if justice is to be done. But,
somehow, in an unusual situation prevailing in the valley at present even
the Honourable Judges would like not to be anything but accommodative even
at the cost of Justice.
may kindly note that forcible occupation of the vacant houses or shelters
of the displaced persons is violation of human rights (the right to property,
and shelter) and admission of any case in this regard by a local court
in which case an ex-parte decision would be
the procedural result is further violation of human rights because it denies
the persons involved the chance to be heard owing to circumstances beyond
control. Evidently the state government has the responsibility to protect
the property of the citizens (that being the constitutional right of all
Citizens of India) and if it fails in discharging that duty the displaced
persons should not suffer on that count. They are already fouled and it
should mean their re-foulment which is not only unjust but also inhuman.
As if sending them into forced exile is too small a punishment which must
be upgraded to forcible occupation of their property.
In the light
of what has been submitted our organisation approaches the Hon'ble NHRC
with the request that appropriate steps commensurate with the lay.: and
charter of human rights be taken at its earliest convenience to stop occupation
of the vacant houses and immovable properties of the internally displaced
persons from Kashmir either through muscle power or through fraudulent
and illegal documentation. We would like to submit that proper steps be
taken to give a fair chance to the displaced persons to follow legal proceedings
wherever necessary in such cases only in Jammu and not in Srinagar. The
threat to life by the armed militants prevents the internally displaced
persons from presenting themselves before any court of law in the valley.
The government could set up special tribunals in Jammu proper where such
cases could be filed and heard. The state Judiciary is expected to demonstrate
its responsibility in prevailing extra-ordinary conditions and spare the
suffering displaced persons the travail of unnecessary litigation for which
they are neither mentally nor financially prepared."
communication dated September 30,1996 to the Hon'ble Chairman, National
Human Rights Commission, New Delhi the Secretary of Friends of Kashmir
(India) conveys as under:
"We are grateful
to the Hon'ble Commission for informing us vice their letter No. 9/73/96-LD
of August 1,1996 that the matter of illegal occupation of Pandit houses
in Kashmir valley submitted by us on 7th June, 96 has been taken up by
the Hon'ble Commisssion with the concerned authorities in the J&K State.
However, till date no state authority has contacted us nor do we know what
action they would be contemplating to take in the matter.
sources we learn that there is a spate in forcible and illegal occupation
of Kashmiri internally displaced persons, left behind property by the locals
in valley with tacit connivance of sections of administrative and judicial
authorities. Fake documents are produced and accepted to claim proprietary
rights over their houses, shops and immovable property. Physical absence
of the owners from the scene and their continued inability to challenge
false claims in a court of law encourages blatant irregalarities. What
is more, reluctance of authorities to devise practical and collective safeguards
against such lawlessness leading to a state of loot is deplorable.
Before we proceed
to cite a few more cases, we would like to high-light the methodology employed
to legalise false. ownership based on the sample study of the forcible
and illegal occupation of the residential house of one Brij Lal Tamiri
(case already submitted to the Hon'ble Commission on June 7,1996). These
are as under:
Obtaining stay orders from a court of law even without any proof of the
sale of property.
ii) when the
victim comes to know of fraudulent ownership, the stay order and appeals
for transfer of case to Jammu (for security reason), the opposition to
the same is voiced on the plea that since the property is located in Kashmir
valley it should not be heard by the Hon'ble Court in Jammu.
iii) a fictitious
name is shown as one of the defendants He may be shown as intermediary
for selling and described as a known person, relative or a friend. This
serves the purpose of prolonging the case and would at the same time break
the resolve of the victim. Then the victim could be forced to agree to
distress sale of his rightfully owned property.
iv) entire strategy of this litigation revolves round prolonging the case
on one pretext or the other, slow down the legal
procedure and oppose the case of transfer to Jammu.
Knowing that occupation of the house of internally displaced persons is
illegal, under the grab of sta! order, the occupants resort to a large
scale damaging of the house besides looting the left-over goods of the
in case of Brij Lal Tamiri, one Maharaj Krishen Watloo has been shown as
a dependent, though no person of this name and address exists. No attorney
has been given by the owner to anybody for sale of the house or for putting
it on tenancy. But the Court has issued stay orders without any proof of
purchase by the illegal occupant. This has forestalled the eviction by
the police. In the meanwhile the occupant has resorted to a large scale
damaging of the construction as the accompanying FIR indicates.
we may be permitted to submit two more cases of forcible and illegal occupation
of the left behind houses of internally displaced persons from the valley.
In one case, a local English daily named Northlines of 24th August, 1996
has reported that one fruit merchant of district Pulwama in Kashmir contrived
fraudulent sale deed of the residential house of Mrs P.G. (name withheld
by the newspaper) an internally-displaced person originally residing in
case, one Lassa Nath Bhat resident of Gouripora-Rawalpora tehsil and district
Badgam in Kashmir valley issued a public notice in Kashmir Times of September
1, 1996 saying that somebody had produced fake documents and claimed the
ownership of his left-behind residential house.
In view of
the seriousness of the violation of human rights, especially the right
to property, we are concerned h the matter and approach the Hon'ble Commission
could besides holding an independent proble, advise the Government of J&K
State to issue orders for :
Stopping sale of any kind of immovable property of the internally displaced
persons from the valley until the time they resume normal life in places
of their origin.
an independent tribunal headed by a High Court Judge based in Jammu. All
cases of internally displaced persons' property could be referred to this
Tribunal for speedy and summary disposal.
the forcible occupants responsible for damaging the house and looting of
immovable property in it. Without a strong legal action this violation
of human rights may not be stopped.
displaced persons are lodging FIRs with the police in Jammu stating that
their houses/shops/orchards/lands have been fraudulently grabbed by musclemen
with the connivance of authorities. As such, the Hon'ble Commission should
supervene and stop violation of the rights to property of the displaced
persons. As and when more cases come to our notice, we shall submit these
to your Lordship for proper disposal."
of the Shop of M.K. Dass
M.K. Dass and
Mrs Sheila Dass were in regular tenancy of a shop in the Akhara building,
Maisuma. The shop as alleged is broken open, all medical goods and medicines
ham been spirited away and a Muslim is said to have grabbed the shop with
the connivance of one Puran Shal1 who manages and overlords the Akhara
properties. M.IC. Dass has approached all concerned authorities for the
restoration of the shop, but as alleged he is not heard. He coven met the
Chief Minister who promised him redressal, but nothing concrete has emerged.
His correspondence with authorities makes a curious reading.
That the tenant
of the shop was in regular tenancy is perhaps substantiated by the letter
that the BSF authority wrote to the Divisional Commissioner. The letter
09 Sept. 96
of Bunker/Payment of compensation in favour of Shri M.K. Dass Prop. M/s
Jank Dass and Co. Budshah Chowk, Srinagar.
to an application submitted by M.K.Dass, Prop. M/s Janki Dass and Co. Budshah
Chowk, Srinagar (Copy enclosed for ready reference).
In this context, it is to inform you that the matter has been got enquired
into depth through concerned Sector DIG/Unit Comdt and reveals following:
a) During the
year 1992, Security Forces were deployed in Kashmir valley and one bunker
was constructed by security forces during that time to deal with militancy
in the area in front of AKHARA BUILDING gate. This bunker is strategically
covering MAISUMA road as well as dominate Akhara Chowk and adjoining areas.
This bunker also provides Security to Akhara building and checks the entry/exist
of visitors to Akhara building.
b) Since, Maisuma
is the backbone of militancy and all sorts of demonstrations/ processions,
grenade throwing are planned and conducted by public in Lal Chowk area,
therefore presence of this bunker is essential to monitor the movement
of the militants/public in the area.
2. The bunker
in question is sited at appropriate place and tactically deployed. This
bunker of course has obstructed the entrance to M/s Janki Dass and Co.
but for Security reasons it is not possible for us to remove the said bunker.
it is recommended that necessary compensation may be provided to the owner
of the Shop, if deemed fit.
General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Srinagar wrote to M.K. Dass which reads
Headquarters Kashmir Srinagar
House No.01, Sector No.10 Nanak Nagar Jammu.
your application regarding shop breaking/replacing the shop locks by Puran
Shah, Manager, Dashnami Akhara Trust with the assistance of local gundas
and looting the medicines from the shop known as Janki Dass and Co. Chemists
16 Akhara building Rudshah Chowk Srinagar.
from concerned SP is enclosed.
General of Police
M.K. Das has
submitted to the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone as under:
General of Police
M-2/97/SPE/64246 dated. 27.2.97.
against criminal trespass and looting of Goods/Cash records from a Shop
M/s Janki Dass and Co. 16, Akhra Building Srinagar.
to above quoted letter on my application A; the application of Mr. M.K.
Dass and Mrs. Sheela Dass.
I am submitting
the following few lines for clarification:
That the shop is under the tenancy of Mahraj Krishan Dass and Sheela Dass.
It is made clear that the shop under our tenancy belongs to Dashnami Akhra
Trust and the tenancy started from 1961. However, earlier also the shop
was in our constructive possession before 1961, being partners of a firm
"Harker and Co.".
2. It is also
made clear that Sh. Janki Nath Dass, Father of M.K. Dass and B.L. Dass
and father-in-law of Mrs. Sheela Dass expired in the year "1964" Nov. as
such tenancy of the said-shop devolved on Shrimati Janki Devi, widow of
Shri Janki Nath Dass-II, Mr. B.L. Dass son of Sh. Janki Nath Dass III M.K.
Dass S/o Janki Nath Dass. However it was Sh. B.L. Dass and Shri M.K. Dass
who were working in the said-shop as the Proprietors of the firm M/s Janki
Dass and Co.
3. That in
the year 1990 on account of militancy above mentioned proprietors were
forced to stop their business as the shop was located at a vulnerable place
known as Budshah Chowk here a permanent BSF post was functioning in front
of the shop and the militants used to attack the said-place.
4. It is pertinent
to note that in the year 1992 a bunker was constructed by the Security
Forces (BSF) to deal with the militancy in front of the shop and thereby
obstructed the entrance and exit of customers to the shop. As there was
no business conducted in the said-shop and because of militancy myself
alongwith other family members shifted to Jammu. I used to visit Srinagar
invariably with a purpose to transact my business in the shop as I and
other members of the family were dependent on the income of the said-shop.
5. That on
account of the increased index of militant acts a Pucca/concrete bunker
was constructed completely closing the entry in the said-shop as the huge
structure was built in front of the shop. Be that as it may, it is stated
that the said-shop was full of medicines and other goods i.e; Thermametcrs,
Cotton packs, Bandages, Sythethescopes, BP apparatus, air cushions, hot
water bottles, baby soaps, oils and powders, surgical items like scissors,
forceps, kidney trays, cadguts, etc. valued Rs. 4.00 lacs.
6. That in
this connection I approached Director General BSF and other authorities
to shift the bunker to some other site so that I could transact my business
in the said-shop but I was not allowed to open or continue my business
by the BSF authority for reasons of security of the area as was intimated
by them through a despatch dated Sept. 9,1996 addressed to the Divisional
Commissioner Kashmir. Moreover, they recommended the case for compensation
to be paid to the firm M/s Janki Dass and Co. Nothing of the sort that
expired medicines would prove dangerous and was advanced by them to the
Management of the Trust was communicated to me which they could have done
if the need was. It is worth to note that the concocted story furnished
by the BSF authority to the management of the trust is nothing but explains
a drama to camalouge their real involvement in this scandalous affair,
where monetary consideration cannot be ruled out.
7. That I am
in possession of the correspondence letters with the Home Ministry of India/State
Governments and other concerned authorities of BSF which clarifies the
8. That in
response to the point mentioning that the firm did not pay any rent to
the Management is all false and baseless. The fact is that no such default
in payment of the rent has been ever committed either by late Pt. Janki
Nath Dass or his predecessors. The firm has paid the rent up-to-date. The
last receipt being of 15.11.89, then again a draft of Rs. 10,000/ - on
account was sent through a registered draft No. 04183 State Bank of India
aft. 27.12.1996 addressed to Secretary Mahadev Giri, Dashnama Akhra Trust,
Budshah Chowk, Srinagar but the same was deliberately returned back and
avoided without furnishing any reasons by Akhra Management. I again sent
the draft to the concerned but it met the same fate with the remarks that
the addressee had left the place without leaving any address here which
was all fraud and fabricated. As the draft was addressed in the name of
Secretary Dashnami Akhara Trust for which a routine office is functioning
there was no question that the addressee had left the place. It transpires
that Akhara Management in connivance with BSF authorities of the said post/bunker
concocted a story of"Emitting foul smell" and wanted to remove the expired
medicines from the shop as the chemical could be dangerous in case of any
explosion caused near the bunker is only to interfere and induct Manzoor
Ahmed Narwari into the said premises as a trespasser and in this deal Puran
Shah, Manager of the Trust, the BSF Personnel of the post/bunker and Manzoor
Ahmed are party and therefore they are to be criminally prosecuted.
It is stated that
because of my filing of an FIR they have not succeeded in dispossessing
me, but if they are not dealt properly they can succeed in their nefarious
designs. It is also stated what business had the Management of the Akhara
Trust to break open the lock of my shop and then take out the medicines/goods
valued about Rs.4.00 to 5.00 lacs. It is a clear case of trespass and theft.
feel that the culprits are arrested and immediately punished.
Allotment of Shops by the Executive Officer of Srinagar Municipality
Bihari Kak, Vinod Kumar Suri, Manohar Lal Sadhana, and Raman Kumar were
the tenants of the shops in the Municipal Building complex, Hazuribagh,
Srinagar. As the Muslim terrorism had its thrust against the Kashmiri Hindus,
the tenants deserted their shops to take shelter in safer zones. In their
absence the Executive Ofticer of Srinagar Municipality, some Ganai, is
said to have allotted their shops to Muslims with the result their shops
were broken open and goods pilfered or looted. The tenants moved earth
and heaven for the redressal of injustice perpetrated on them, but to no
effect. They called on the concerned Minister, Molvi Iftikar Hussian Ansari,
who is an expert in prevarication and procrastination and has dragged his
feet from using the whip of law against the intruders and defaulters for
the fact that all involved are of the Muslim brand.
In a representation
to the Chief Minister the tenants wrote: -
We were allotted shops in the complex by Srinagar Municipality in the year
1977 for a period of 17 years with the clause that the lease period would
be "renewable thereafter in favour of the lessee."
b) In the year
1990 we along with lakhs of other members of the minority community were
forced to migrate from Srinagar in the wake of wide spread violence. We
locked our shops as we could not take them out because of turbulent conditions.
c) While in
migration we learnt that the shopping complex had been partially gutted
in an incident of fire in July, 1990. However some shops including the
one belonging to the applicant No.2 remained unaffected by the fire.
d) Early this
year we learnt that by taking advantage of the absence of the members of
the minority community some unscrupulous officials of the Srinagar Municipality
were reallotting their shops to third parties without following the process
of law or without sending proper notices to the bona fide allottees
of the said-shops.
e) We have
reasons to believe that the papers of allotment have been prepared illegally
in a clandestine manner by the Executive Officer of Srinagar Municipality,
Mr. Ganai. In certain cases he has also forged the signatures of the earlier
Administrator of Srinagar Municipality for illegally allotting the shops
f) The shops
have been re-allotted at a premium of only Rs.30,000 per shop while the
current market value of the shops is around Rs.7 lakhs each. We have authentic
information to believe that Mr.Ganai has reportedly accepted Rs.2.00 lakhs
per shop as illegal gratification from the illegal allottees of the said-shops.
g) In case
the shops that were not gutted in fire, the locks were broken open and
goods worth lakhs stolen by the said official before allotting the shops
to some other person.
h) While none
of the tenants of the shops of the said complex including those who have
been running their business from these shops for all these years has been
paying rent to the Srinagar Municipality due to the troubled conditions
in the valley. Only the migrants who have at least paid partial rent have
been singled out for this treatment.
i) In view
of the foregoing it will be clear to your goodself that certain officials
of Srinagar Municipality have tried to tarnish the image of the administration
by acting in a manner contrary to the declared policy statements of the
J&K Government as well as the Government of India. While the Union
Ministers and bureaucrats belonging to both the Union Government and the
State Government have time and again been voicing the resolve of the government
regarding return of the Kashmiri migrants to the valley soon, these officials
of the Municipality, just in order to make a quick buck, have been working
against this policy by making all efforts to ensure that the migrants do
not return to the valley.
Their action of
re-allotment of the migrant shops is one step in this direction.
request your goodself to please use your good offices to ensure that the
culprits in this case of blatant misuse of power and corruption are brought
to book and the shops are restored to the original owners of the said-shops
after making good the loss caused to them.
Kashi Nath Ticku's House Grabbed by the Government Department
Dr. Kashi Nath
Ticku now an octogenarian has been in banishment for the last eight years.
It is reliably learnt that he has been spending the evening of his life
in Gujrat. He is pained and anguished to learn that his posh house at Jawahar
Nagar in Srinagar city has been grabbed. After making thorough enquiries
about the grab he learns that it is not a Muslim who has broken open his
house and spirited away all the goods from his house but it is a Government
Department that has occupied his house in his absence in exile. The Department
in the hands of frauds, fanatics and unscrupulous elements has been in
occupation of his house for purposes of running a school. Dr. Ticku has
been on jaunts to Srinagar to get his house vacated and has been meeting
the officers of the Department of Education to ensure the vacation of his
house. It was after a long struggle that the officers of the Department
agreed to pay him rent since the time the house has been under its occupation.
But no rent has been paid to him so far. Every tin1e he flies to Srinagar
he has to re-open his case as the officers suffused with communal venom
feign ignorance about the illegal occupation.
Dr. Kashi Nath
Ticku is a doctor be profession and has been vitally linked with the so-called
nationalist movement led by Sheikh Abdullah. What his contributions have
been to the movement can be learnt from the galaxy of freedom fighters
who wore honestly motivated for heralding a new era of democracy, liberalism
and religious Catholicism.
of Poplars from a Kashmiri Pandit House and Hakim Ghulam Hassan
Hassan is said to be a retired judge from the state judiciary. His house
near Polytechnic, Gogjibagh, Srinagar is fringed by the house of a Kashmiri
Pandit hailing from a respectable family of Mattoos from Rainawari. The
house of the Pandit was deserted by the inmates when the Muslim killers
started the murder of Kashmiri Pandits as they were labelled as the agents
of India and anti-Muslim.
It was after
a year or so that Hakim Ghulam Hassan is said to have informed his Kashmiri
Pandit neighbour that he had sold the poplars growing within the premises
of his house for a sum of Rs. 10,000 which he would be remitting to him
very soon. The Pandit took Hakim Ghulam Hassan for his word and believed
that the money would come to him sooner or later. Rut the hopes of the
Pandit were belied. Money never came to him.
Pandit in absolute despair is said to have gone on writing to his Muslim
neighbour about the despatch of money. Ghulam Hassan is said to have proved
callous and discourteous in not writing back to his Pandit neighbour Ultimately
the Kashmiri Pandit is said to have phoned him from Jammu and asked his
immediate neighbour to send him the money that had accrued from the sale
of poplars. Hakim Ghulam Hassan reportedly informed him that he had deposited
the money in the treasury. The Pandit put the word "treasury" to an incisive
analysis but could not come to any satisfying rational conclusion.
Hassan perhaps meant that the money was deposited in the coffers of Muslim
killers who are said to have earned full-scale support and succour from
men of his breed.