Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One has to wonder why the Srinagar print media ignored the following story for over two weeks?

Could it be that the topic dealt with a life-and-death issue involving the minority community living in the valley?

Pandits demand re-opening of massacre cases, disappearances


Srinagar, Feb 27: The Kashmir Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSM) on Wednesday blamed the government of its failure to come up with the truth on Wandhama and other massacres, demanding re-opening of the killings and disappearance cases of the Kashmiri Pandits.

In a statement, the Samiti’s president, Sanjay K. Tickoo, said that the Pandit community had faced six massacres from 1997 to 2003. “It is very disgusting that after 10 years, the Wandhama massacre case has been closed by the police for want of evidence,” Tickoo said.

“By this the police department and the government has played with the emotions of the Kashmiri Pandits and has given way to the unscrupulous elements who are behind the killings,” he said.

Tickoo said that he had approached the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and it had already directed the inspector general of police Kashmir to file a detailed report in the matter.

“There is no reason that our community should trust the police department and the government,” he added while demanding a thorough CBI inquiry into these matters.


Like Phoenix, the Kashmiri Pandit Community in the Valley Rises to Assert its Voice

The Srinagar-based Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS) President, Sanjay Tickoo, seeking intervention of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to investigate mass massacres of Kashmiri Pandits in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2003.

(Mr. Sanjay K. Tickoo, 45, was born and raised in Srinagar. After graduating from Hindu High School in Sheetal Nath, Srinagar, he completed his B.Sc. degree from S. P. College, Srinagar. Currently self-employed, his hobbies are reading and traveling. He is among the 8,000 brave Pandit souls who have weathered the worst of the militancy in Kashmir, and is proud to call himself a citizen of Kashmir who stayed put in the valley.)

The Hon’ble Chairman,
State Human Rights Commission,
Srinagar / Jammu.

Subject: Human Rights Violation against Kashmiri Pandit Community.

May it please your Honour:

With respect and humble humility it is submitted as under on behalf of Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti and the members of the Community:

That since the onslaught of violence from 1989 the Pandit Community became the soft target for anyone who wanted to do something for news value and during that period dozens of members of the Community disappeared and never returned back. There were about is still unknown as mass fear gripped the community and majority left their ancestral home and were scattered in the whole world for their livelihood. During the early 1990s hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits were killed and their F.I.R.’s are still pending before the Police. After a gap of nearly 17 years Police Department is unable to solve these murder cases with respect to the minority Community.

Our Community faced six massacres from 1997 to 2003, 1997 – Sangrampora, 1998 – Wandhama, 1999 – Teelwani, 2000 – Pethbugh, 2001 – Hugam and 2003 – Nadimarg, which reduced our population from 32,000 in 1992 to 9,865 in 2003. It is very disgusting that after a gap of 10 years the Wandhama massacre case has been closed by the Police Department for want of evidences. On the one hand Police Department solves the cases within the stipulated time but in the case of minority these remain unsolved and the state government has failed to come up with a truth. By this the Police Department and the State Government has played with the emotions of the Kashmiri Pandit Community and has given way to those unscrupulous elements who are behind the killing of minority Community to move in the society keeping their heads high.

For the last 17 years our Community was having faith on the State Government that they will bring those persons who were behind these heinous acts but the recent statement (Annexure – A) has scattered all our hopes and trust from the Government. Even at the time of Nadimarg Massacre which happened in 2003, the then DG Police claimed in media that they have recovered nearly 1.5 Kgs of gold ornaments, but it is still unknown whether those gold ornaments were given back to the persons to whom it belonged.

In view of above, it is requested to your worthy goodself, to intervene in the matter as there is no reason for our community to trust on the Police Department and the State Government and direct the State Government to reopen all the cases pertaining to the Community (whether individual or massacres or disappearances) and the cases be handed over to C.B.I. (Central Bureau of Investigation) so that truth comes fore.

Yours faithfully

Sanjay K. Tickoo

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