Kashmiri Pandits have launched a massive protest in Jammu to observe January 19 as “Exodus Day”. According to sources, various Kashmiri Pandit organisations have approached the United Nations to get justice for the exodus which happened on January 19, 1991. This particular day is observed as the “black day” for Kashmiri Pandits as they were thrown out of their own homes in the Valley.
Stating that people from all across the world come to visit the Valley, the protestor said that the Kashmiri Pandits who are native to this place cannot step back in. Alleging that all the governments that came to power in J&K in the past 30 years always played politics, a Kashmiri Pandit said that no government ever paid attention to our needs or tried solving our issue. “They till now have not given any rights,” he added.
January 19, 1991, is known to be a black day for the Kashmiri Pandits because it was on this day that they were forced out under the threat of violence by extremists. At that time, the radicals had given the Pandits only 2 options if not for leaving: either to convert to Islam or suffer their wrath.
As a result, the Kashmiri Pandits were forced to seek refuge elsewhere in India. As of 2016, only 2,000 to 3,000 Kashmiri Hindus remained in Kashmir Valley compared to approximately 30,000 to 60,000 in 1990. Consequently, 19 January 1990 is widely known by Kashmiri Hindus as “Exodus Day”, in memory of the Kashmiri Hindus who were either killed or forced out of Kashmir.