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Exodus Of Kashmiri Pandits| Indian History | PDF Download



  • The Hindus of the Kashmir Valley, a large majority of whom were Kashmiri Pandits, were forced to flee the Kashmir valley as a result of being targeted by JKLF and Islamist insurgents during late 1989 and early 1990.
  • Of the approximately 300,000 to 600,000 Hindus living in the Kashmir Valley in 1990 only 2,000–3,000 remain there in 2016.
  • According to the Indian government, more than 62,000 families are registered as Kashmiri refugees including some Sikh families. Most families were resettled in Jammu, National Capital Region surrounding Delhi and other neighbouring states.


  •  The Kashmiri Pandits (also known as Kashmiri Brahmins) are a Saraswat Brahmin community from the Kashmir Valley.
  • Kashmiri Pandits are the original inhabitants of the Kashmir Valley and are the only remaining Kashmiri Hindu community native to Kashmir
  • The society of Kashmiri Pandits is divided mainly into followingsubcategoriess:
  • Banmasi who had initially migrated from the valley during the rule of Muslim kings and later returned and Malmasi who stayed back in valley despite all odds.Later, the Pandits who started doing business were categorised as Buhirs.


  • Under the 1975 accord, Sheikh Abdullah agreed to measures previously undertaken by the central government in Jammu and Kashmir to integrate the state into India.
  • Those opposed to it included Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir and People’s League in Indian Jammu and Kashmir, and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) based in Azad Kashmir.
  • Both the pro-Independence JKLF and the pro-Pakistan Islamist groups including Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir mobilised the fast growing anti-Indian sentiments among the Kashmiri population.


  • The year of 1984 saw a pronounced rise in terrorist violence in Kashmir. When the JKLF militant Maqbool Bhat was executed in February 1984.
  • Critics of the then Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah, charged that Abdullah was losing control.
  • On 2 July 1984, G. M. Shah, who had support from Indira Gandhi, replaced his brother-in-law Farooq Abdullah and became the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, after Abdullah was dismissed, in what was termed as a political “coup”.


  • Kashmiri Pandits were targeted by the Kashmiri Muslims. Many incidents were reported in various areas where Kashmiri Hindus were killed and their properties and temples damaged or destroyed.
  • During the Anantnag riot in February 1986, although no Hindu was killed, many houses and other properties belonging to Hindus were looted, burnt or damaged. EXODUS • In July 1988, the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front(JKLF) began a separatist insurgency for independence of Kashmir from India.
  • The group targeted a Kashmiri Hindu for the first time on 14 September 1989, when they killed Pandit Tika Lal Taploo, an advocate and a prominent leader of Bharatiya Janata Party in Jammu & Kashmir in front of several eyewitnesses.
  • On 4 January 1990, a local Urdu newspaper, Aftab, published a press release issued by Hizb-ulMujahideen, asking all Pandits to leave the Valley immediately


  • On 21 January 1990, two days after Jagmohan took over as governor, the Indian security forces had opened fire on protesters, leading to the death of at least 50 people, and likely over 100.
  • These events led to chaos. Lawlessness took over the valley and the crowd with slogans and guns started roaming around the streets.
  • Most of the Kashmiri Hindus left Kashmir valley and moved to other parts of the country, majorly to the refugee camps in Jammu region of the state.



  • On 14 September 1989, Pandit Tika Lal Taploo, who was a lawyer and a BJPmember, was murdered by the JKLF in his home in Srinagar.
  • Soon after Taploo’s death, Nilkanth Ganjoo, a judge of Srinagar High court who had sentenced Maqbul Bhat to death, was shot dead.
  • In December 1989, members of JKLF kidnapped Dr. Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of the-then Union Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed demanding release of five militants, which was subsequently fulfilled.


  • Walls were pasted with posters with threatening messages to all Kashmiris to harshly follow the Islamic rules which included abidance by the Islamic dress code, a prohibition on alcohol, cinemas, and video parlors and strict restrictions on Kashmiri women.
  • Unknown masked men force people to reset their time to Pakistan Standard Time. All offices buildings, shops, and establishments were colored green as a sign of Islamist rule.
  • Shops, factories, temples and homes of Kashmiri Hindus were burned or destroyed. Threatening posters were posted on doors of Hindus asking them to leave Kashmir immediately.


  • On 29 April 1990, Sarwanand Kaul Premi, a veteran Kashmiri poet was gruesomely murdered. Several intelligence operatives were assassinated, over the course of January.
  • On 2 February 1990, Satish Tikoo, a young Hindu Pandit social-worker was murdered near his own house in Habba Kadal, Srinagar.
  • On 13 February 1990, Lassa Kaul, Station Director of Srinagar Doordarshan, was shot dead.Many Kashmiri Hindu women were kidnapped, raped and murdered, throughout the time of exodus. AFTERMATH
  • The militancy in Kashmir had increased after the exodus. The militants had targeted the properties of Kashmiri Pandits after their exodus.
  • Kashmiri Hindus continue to fight for their return to the valley and many of them live as refugees. The exiled community had hoped to return after the situation improved.
  • Most of them lost their properties after the exodus and many are unable to go back and sell them. Their status as displaced people has adversely harmed them in the realm of education.


  • Whilst some Pandit organisations such as Panun Kashmir etc. have accused Kashmiri Muslims of genocide and massrape, during the times of exodus. • Some scholars have also accused the Indian state and Media of utilizing the experience of Pandits as a tool of propaganda.
  • Further, whilst significantly higher figures of death, in thousands, have been reported by certain Panditorganisations, scholars have rejected the claims, instead choosing to roughly rely upon the official figures.According to the government of Jammu and Kashmir 219 Kashmiri Pandits were killed and 24,202 families migrated out of the valley. TIMELINE
  • ‘September 1989 Pandit political activist, Tika Lal Taploo is shot dead by armed men outside his residence.
  • January 1990 . Massive crowds assemble in mosques across valley, shouting anti-india, anti-pandit slogans. The exodus of Kashmiri Pandits begins. In the next few months, hundreds of innocent Pandits are tortured, killed and raped. By the year-end, about 350,000 Pandits have escaped from the Valley and taken refuge in Jammy and elsewhere.
  • March 1997 . Terrorists drag out seven Kashmiri Pandits from their houses in Sangrampora village and gun them down. TIMELINE
  • January 1998 . 23 Kashmiri Pandits, including women and children, shot in cold blood in Wandhama Village.
  • March 2003 . 24 Kashmiri Pandits, including infants, brutally shot dead in Nadimarg Village.
  • 2012 . Thousands of Pandits still languish in refugee settlements of 8 x 8.


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