Srinagar: Pro-freedom leaders in Kashmir unanimously reiterated not to allow construction of Sainik colonies, or exclusive townships for pandits in the Valley, stating that they would form a committee along with civil society members to establish people-to-people contact with Kashmiri pandits. The committee, according to Hurriyat leaders, would 'clarify' to Kashmiri pandits that 'Kashmiris were not hostile towards their return and they were welcome as brothers and good neighbours across the Valley and nobody would have any problem with their pro-India ideology. They also urged people to boycott assembly by-elections of Anantnag constituency scheduled for June 22, where chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is contesting to get elected to the state Assembly.
Influential pro-freedom leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq in a joint seminar here at the residence of the former, stated that construction of Sainik colonies and new industrial policy were aimed at "settling non-state subjects in the Valley and change the demography of the state". Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah — were arrested and not allowed to participate in the function. "Let New Delhi give every Kashmiri pandit Rs 30 lakh to resettle in Kashmir. We don't have any issues. We will welcome them in our neighbourhoods, but not in exclusive colonies," said Geelani, adding.
Separate townships would turn into cancer for the whole nation.The pro-freedom leadership fears that New Delhi wants to settle more than 'seven lakh troops' and around 'five lakh nonstate labourers' permanently in Kashmir through Sainik colonies and permanent shelters for the homeless.