New Delhi: Indian Consul General in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty, has landed in a controversy over the issue of Jammu and Kashmir after a clip of him addressing a gathering of Kashmiri Pandits went viral on social media. In the clip, Chakravorty is heard saying Kashmir needs an Israel model-like solution in a bid to rehabilitate the Kashmiri Pandit community.
So far, the Ministry of External Affairs has not officially responded to the controversy.
News18 has learnt that Chakravorty was speaking at a private event in which Kashmiri Pandits were meeting film maker Vivek Agnihotri to discuss his film project ‘Kashmir Files’. Many of those in attendance are believed to have themselves faced atrocities and were narrating their experiences.
A source said the attendees were highly charged and emotional and were of the view that India had let them down. The source added Chakravorty had spoken in this context, in a bid to assuage their feelings by stating that all of India is with them.
The source said Chakravorty was responding to a specific question when he quoted Israel as a model.
Chakravorty on Twitter said his remarks "are being taken out of context".
I have seen some social media comments on my recent remarks. My remarks are being taken out of context.— Sandeep Chakravorty (@CHAKRAVIEW1971) November 27, 2019
In the clip, Chakravorty is heard referring to the abrogation of Article 370 as “the government has done what it has done”, adding that no one had ever taken such a big international risk. He is heard telling the Kashmiri Pandits that the security situation will soon improve in Jammu and Kashmir and they will be able to return to their villages during their lifetimes.
However, in the controversial part of the clip, Chakravorty says that India should adopt the Israeli model. “There is a model in the world. I don't know why we don't follow it… it has happened in the middle-east. I think if the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it. And push our leaders to do that,” he says.
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Sources said the reference to Israel was in the context of a remark by someone with regard to keeping Kashmiri culture alive by its diaspora abroad and in exile. They added that the clips were edited and “slyly” put out by trolls.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan retweeted a news article referring to Chakravorty's comments, saying that it “shows the fascist mindset of the Indian government’s RSS ideology that has continued the siege” of Kashmir.