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Kashmiri Pandits demand restoration of statehood, return of special status for Jammu and Kashmir

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NEW DELHI: Urging the Centre to restore the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, a Kashmiri Pandit group has demanded that the untion territory should again be turned into a state.

The Kashmiri Pandit body, Reconciliation, Relief and Rehabilition (RRR), has said that they want immediate restoration of statehood and the return to the special status for J&K. 

The group says that the constitution gives right to equality to all citizens, communities, regions and religions, however, in this case the state has been downgraded to a union territory--something that never happened in the past with any other state in the country. 

It further says that the solution should not be in going to war against own people and hence there was need to restore Article 370 and bring back the status to J&K, apart from turning it a state, says Satish Mahaldar, the chairman of the RRR, in a statement issued today.

The body has urged PM Narendra Modi, the home minister and other MPs to confer the status to J&K, as a gesture. The RRR further says that the special status was necessary in safeguarding the interests of the people, their culture and also that it was not the lone state to have such a special status.

Other states that have such status under Articles 371, 371A and 371H include Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Mizoram et al. After Article 370 was abrogated, the state also lost its separate flag that was hoisted along with the national flag on government buildings.

Photo: Imad Clicks, Pexels