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Pandit couple returns to Muslim neighbourhood in IOK

Srinagar, January 22, 2016 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, a Pandit family has returned to the Kashmir Valley and started living with their Muslim brethren proving all the myths false that the Pandits are not safe in the territory. What makes the return of Omkar Razdan (70) and Vijay Bazaz Razdan (65) unique is they refused to take the Indian Prime Minister’s package to live in separate settlements for the community. Instead, they preferred to move to a Muslim neighbourhood.

Omkar Razdan and Vijay Bazaz Razdan, son-in-law and daughter of the widely-read Kashmiri Pandit, Prem Nath Bazaz, have constructed a three-storey house in the Muslim-majority Humhama colony of Srinagar to dispel the myth that the two communities cannot live together. Omkar Razdan in a media interview said, “It was a conscious decision not to live in a separate settlement or colony, as it goes against the idea of Kashmiriyat. Kashmir was an abode of communal harmony when the minorities were attacked in 1947 in other parts of India. Not a single Pandit was killed or displaced then.”

Razdan said that he grew up listening to folklores on Hindu-Muslim harmony. The couple has named the house Noor Augur (Spring of light), to relive the past. “We travel by public transport in Srinagar. We get a warm feeling. I leave my keys with my Muslim electrician when I travel to New Delhi,” said Razadan, who has authored the book, Trauma of Kashmir and Untold Realities. A retired chief engineer, Razdan was moved by the efforts of his Muslim neighbourhood to rescue him and his wife in the floods of 2014.

His wife said that she was moved by the verses she hears every morning from a nearby mosque. “It is so soothing. When we introduce ourselves as Pandits, we are offered free vegetables and grocery at times. This is not possible anywhere else,” she said. “On the walls of the mosque, we see the words ‘Go India, Go back’ but the locals do not allow politics to interfere in our personal relations,” Omkar Razdan said.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Email: info@kmsnews.org
Phone: 92-51-4435548, 4435549
Fax: 92-51-4861736

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