PoJK displaced families demand permanent resident status and voting rights in J&K
People who originally belonged to Pakistan occupied areas of J&K such as Mirpur, Kotli, Bhimber, Poonchh, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit are demanding ‘permanent resident status’ and voting rights in Jammu and Kashmir. This was stated at the ‘Shahidi Divas’ program in New Delhi on Sunday.
Shahidi Divas is observed in memory of thousands of Indian Hindus and Sikhs massacred by Pakistan Forces on 25th November 1947 when they were forcibly and mercilessly displaced from above-mentioned areas of Pakistan-occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK). The event was organised by Mirpur Balidan Bhawan Samity, New Delhi in collaboration with Jammu Kashmir Peoples’ Forum, (Delhi Chapter) at Mirpur Balidan Bhawan premises, Lajpat Nagar-1, New Delhi.
Former Deputy Chief Minister of J&K Kavinder Gupta, while addressing a gathering of about 300 persons belonging to the displaced families, said a delegation of Jammu Kashmir Peoples’ Forum (JKPF) had met him earlier in the day and presented a charter of demands on behalf of the displaced persons. “I have asked them to come to Jammu, so that we can look into the demands and see what can be done,” Kavinder Gupta said.
The former Dy. CM of J&K was the Chief Guest at the Shahidi Divas program. Hon'ble Justice Sh. Anil Dev Singh, Chief Justice (Retd.), Rajasthan High Court chaired the function. Sh. Ajay Bharti, MLC, J&K and Sh. Bharat Bhushan Gupta, Registrar General (Retd.), Delhi High Court, were among the distinguished guests who attended the programme.
People displaced from PoJK and settled in different areas (other than J&K) such as Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Chandigarh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, U P., Jammu etc. attended the programme.
A Resolution was passed unanimously by the displaced families, which will be handed over to the Hon’ble Governor of Jammu & Kashmir State.
The Resolution stated:-
1. After displacement from PoJK, about 5300 families were not allowed by the then State Govt. to settle in the State of J&K. They do not have State Subject of the J&K Government. They are not being considered the residents of J&K State although they were uprooted from PoJK by Pakistan Forces and have the legitimate right for the same.
The State Government of J&K should take immediate action to issue State Subject (Permanent Resident Certificate i.e. PRC) to all of them as well as their families born thereafter. A Commissioner may be appointed who should sit in the J&K House, New Delhi (As done in the case of Kashmiri Pandits who were uprooted from Kashmir in 1989) as it is not feasible for all who are presently in lakhs and settled in various parts of the country (except J&K) to go to Jammu for the same.
2. A major problem with the aforesaid 5300 families is that they are scattered in different parts of the country. The Govt. of India as well as J&K State Govt. should take immediate action for preparing a National Register for them.
3. There are two categories of people among aforesaid 5300 families. Some of them were given ex-gratia payment of Rs. 3,500 initially and others were not given. Among them who got ex-gratia some of them have documents related to this and some of them lost their documents with the pass of long time. Some via media may be decided by the State Government of J&K to help all.
4. The Govt. of India vide their letter No. 31/01/2011-R&SO dated 22/12/2016 addressed to the Chief Secretary, Govt. of J&K in response to J&K Govt.’s letter No. R&R/Rehab/CSC/19/2015 dated 14.06,2016 conveyed the approval providing central assistance of Rs. 2,000 crore for 36,384 displaced families from PoJK of 1947 etc. as one time settlement under Prime Minister’s Development Package 2015.
It is very sorry to state that the J&K Govt. has given step motherly treatment to the aforesaid 5300 families and ignored them for this benefit. The above treatment with 5300 families is not appreciable. Neither the Centre Govt. nor the State ever took care for the welfare of these Displaced families.
Displaced Persons settled outside J&K State should be considered at par with those who settled in J&K and all the benefits should also be given to them as in case of Kashmiri Pandits.
5. Voting rights should be allowed for Displaced families from PoJK since 24 seats of J&K Assembly are kept in abeyance in lieu of Pakistan occupied areas of J&K State.
6. In the coming elections in Jammu & Kashmir State, representatives of Displaced Persons from PoJK, in 1947 should be given chances to contest in the elections.