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Kashmiri Pandits (Recourse, Restitution, Rehabilitation and Resettlement) Bill, 2022

June 5, 2022by canonsphere0


The founding fathers of Constitution of India have conscripted the fundamental rights in the Constitution for advancement of citizens of India, however the same Constitution consisted of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, by virtue of Instrument of Accession signed between Maharaja Hari Singh and the then Governor-General of India Lord Mountbatten. 

The majority of Kashmir population consists of Muslims with 68.31% of the total population, and 28.44% Hindus, as per 2011 census, however no census was conducted in Jammu and Kashmir in the year 1991 due to communal disturbance, i.e., the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir, which consisted of not only violations of inalienable rights of Kashmiri Pandits, national and international laws, but also a failure of Government of India.

Recently, a film titled “The Kashmir Files” has created nationwide agitation by representing how Kashmiri Pandits were a victim of exodus and genocide, and as a result, numerous actions and opinions are being practiced for the purpose of restoration of Kashmiri Pandits how they are living as a refugee in their own country for the past 30 years.

One of the significant steps taken by legislature in this regard was by introducing a private bill in Rajya Sabha titled “The Kashmiri Pandits (Recourse, Restitution, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement) Bill, 2022, by Congress MP Vivek Tankha, the lone Kashmiri Pandit in Rajya Sabha.   

Backgrounds of the Genocide

The politically disturbed valley not only witnessed the kidnapping of daughter of then Home Minister in exchange of 5 militants, but also public executions of a judge, and other significant political leaders of Kashmir were witnessed during the year 1989-1991, however, the darkest night was on 19th January, wherein, the administrative less valley witnessed door to door killings of Hindus, rape of women, destroying of property, etc. were practiced by militants.

Ethnic cleansing was evidently a systematic component of the terrorists’ strategic agenda in J&K, and estimates suggest that, just between February and March 1990, 140,000 to 160,000 Pandits had fled the Kashmir Valley to Jammu, Delhi, or other parts of the country. Simultaneously, there were a number of high-profile killings of senior Hindu officials, intellectuals and prominent personalities.

The Kashmiri Pandits Bill, 2022

While introducing a private member’s bill, MP Vivek Tankha argued that very little has been done to serve justice to Kashmiri Pandits. The significant aspects of the bill are:

  • Serving political, social, and economic rehabilitation of Pandits, safeguarding their estate, restoration of culture, safety and security, and resettling of Pandits in the valley.
  • Granting a status of minority to Pandits, affirming them “victims of genocide” and terming them ‘Internally Displaced Persons’.  
  • Formation of a committee headed by a retired Chief Justice of India, and 2 other retired Supreme Court judges, 2 MPs, 2 former MPs, and 4 Legislative Members of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Bill contains a provision of relying on the testimony of witnesses, with special emphasis on judgments of Supreme Court of India, and High Courts, NHRC, etc.  
  • The Bill also aims at forming an inquiry commission to investigate the “genocide and exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.
  • The Centre, in discussion with Advisory Committee must take steps to assure representation of the community among Panchayats, Legislative Assembly and Parliament.
  • Creation of authority to register all Kashmiri Pandits as voters and reservation in Legislation of Union Territory.  
  • Establishment of corpus fund for granting 5000 small or cottage industries by Kashmiri Pandits, without interest loans for small and medium sized organizations and without any tax for first 5 years for creation of any business.
  • One member per family to have license to carry weapons, and relief of Rs. 5000, ceiling being Rs. 20,000.
  • Formation of advisory committee of 21 individuals from Kashmiri Pandit community, three of them being from Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora (GKPD), one of them being a woman, 2 non-Kashmiri Pandit representatives, with at least 25% and not more than 50% members shall be women.  
  • To promote youth employment, the government must provide 10,000 direct employment opportunities by only migrant or domiciled Kashmiri Pandits.


Certainly, the said bill has an intention to restore, rehabilitate, and assist the resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir, and for this purpose, provisions of advisory committee, domicile certification, rehabilitation, restoration of religious and other heritage places, safety and security, inquiry commission, are bestowed in the bill.

The bill was presented with the object to overcome the gap between expectations of Kashmiri Pandits, and offerings of government. The bill also aims at prosecuting the offenders of violence and genocide.

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