A group of prominent religious organisations in Jammu and Kashmir today said Kashmiri Pandits, who migrated from the Valley in 1990, have a right to return and are welcome, but cautioned the Centre against any move to create separate settlements for the community.
"Pandits are an important part of the Kashmiri society. Those Pandits, who were pressurised to leave the Valley in 1990 under a sinister conspiracy, have every right to settle at their ancestral places or in any area along with their Muslim compatriots and they will be welcomed to live here as the common citizens," president of Majlis Itihad-e-Millat, Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Bashir-ud-in said at a press conference here.
The Majlis is a joint representative forum of about a dozen religious organisations including Jamat-e-Islami, Jamiat-e-Ahli Hadees and Anjuman-e-Shari Shian.
Mufti, who is also Jammu and Kashmir's Grand Mufti (head cleric), said any plan by the Central government to create separate settlements in Kashmir for the Pandit community would have "dangerous consequences".
"The people of Kashmir, including a majority of Pandits, have serious apprehensions about the plan and will never accept it," he said.