On August 5, 2019, the Narendra Modi government read down Article 370 of the Indian constitution, taking away the Special Status enjoyed by the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. The hope – at least as promised by the Modi government – was that it would break the back of militants, putting an end to violence in the region.
But, that was not to be. The lives of Kashmiri Pandits – who are still haunted by the militancy of the 1990s – have only become woeful in the years following the abrogation of Article 370. Several Pandits were killed in the targeted attacks by militants. Pandit employees posted in various government departments in the Kashmir Valley launched agitations demanding that they be moved out from the Valley.
Against this backdrop, The Wire‘s Arfa Khanum Sherwani was recently in Sheikhpora village in the Budgam district of the Valley to speak to Pandit residents. However, due to restrictions and fear of being targeted by the administration, residents did not forward to voice their opinion. Only one resident came forward to explain the situation on the ground.
Watch this video to fully grasp the situation on the ground in the Kashmir Valley and the plight of Pandits.