28/04/2015 3:15 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Muslims Too Can Buy Property In Township For Pandits, Says Home Ministry

A Kashmiri man holds an umbrella as he fishes sitting on the banks of the Nigeen Lake on a rainy day in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Monday, April 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

NEW DELHI — At least 50 percent of the houses in the upcoming "composite township" will be reserved for displaced Kashmiri Pandits, while the rest may be up for sale for Kashmiri Muslims to prevent the ghettoisation of Hindus, the Ministry of Home Affairs has said.

"The idea is not to ghettoise Pandits in a separate locality but to ensure that Muslims and Pandits live together in a secure environment," a senior official told The Economic Times. Soon after the government had announced the township plan, the separatists had accused the Centre of creating ghettos for Pandits.

"If Muslims want, they can buy property with their own resources and live there (in the composite townships). Since it's a rehabilitation scheme for displaced Kashmiri Pandits, the grant will only be given to them and at least 50 per cent of the houses will be reserved for them," a home ministry official told Mail Today.

The government is aiming to rehabilitate over 10,000 displaced Kashmiri Pandit families in these townships, proposed to be built in Srinagar and Anantnag. As per the proposal sent by the Jammu and Kashmir government to the Central government, the Kashmiri Pandits are slated to be given Rs 20 lakh, with which they can purchase a flat in the proposed township.

Protests have rocked J&K ever since home minister Rajnath Singh had asked CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to provide land for composite townships for Pandits.

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