Tag Archives: JAMMU & KASHMIR

Kashmiri pandits woes and griefs….

While many Kashmiri Pandits have with their hard work and Education overcome many difficulties, Still Thousands of Families are languishing in the one room apartments of Jammu Refugee camps. The youth have been deprived of Jobs by the successive governments. Their miseries have elongated with time and have become a part of their life. Self owned flat or house is still a distinct dream for many. Chuni lal poignantly recalls old days in Kashmir as he says,”we had a big house in our village in Kashmir,It had 12 rooms and each room was not less than 800 sq.feet. Here, in jammu my whole family lives in a 400 sq.feet,one room flat”. This is a story of many….

Govt. of j&k is playing hide and seek game with the future and lives of many Kashmiri Pandits. Sometimes they announce employment package and then mysteriously roll back the announced schemes. Pre 1989,there was a sizeable portion of Kashmiri Pandits who served the Government at various responsible positions. Today, Their number is not even 1/10 of that size. This antipathy towards the careers of majority of KP’s has forced them to look for the jobs outside the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This is definitely a conspiracy of keeping KP’s away from J&K.

Pakistan sponsored terrorism, which cleansed the indigenous Kashmiri hindus from Kashmir, have been carried on by the successive Governments, by not providing fundamental livelihood in the form of jobs to the displaced community.

Usually as a matter of fact Leaders emerge, But with Kashmiri Pandits they are announced by the political patriarchs of Kashmir. These handpicked politician’s empathy towards their brethren gets transformed into apathy once they enter the arena of power and follow the footsteps of their political mentors. This metamorphosis may be good to them but this hardly mitigates the sufferings of general KP’s.

Satish Kumar, aged 37 years, lives in one room dingy apartment at Nagrota camp, which is hardly 12Kms from Jammu city. Till August 2008, He was considering himself lucky than most of his friends in the Refugee camp and why not,at least he had a job.He was working with a private firm and obediently looking after his family which apart from his wife also consists of his aged parents. During the peak of Amarnath land agitation, in which number of unarmed agitators were killed cold bloodedly by the Government Machinery, Satish had gone to local market to buy vegetables, He was hit by tear gas shells, and was seriously hurt. This incidence changed his life forever…

Today he is unemployed and handicapped, Repeated surgeries has severely affected his right leg and gangrened his Right foot, He also has lost the vision of both his eyes. His family had to incur huge medical expenses ,which eventually drained their lifelong savings. Now in debt, His only source of income is Rs 3000/month which he gets as a relief(dole) from Government for being a Kashmiri refugee. Future seems bleak to him, Visibly in Physical pain, he murmurs “ I want money, so that I can get better medical facilities”.

Not a single political leader has approached him so far, the condition of this family is appalling monetarily as well as emotionally, Satish has compromised with his fate, and he aspires to raise decent funds to cover his medical expenses and look for better medical facilities, Though he has not met with success yet, his sense of responsibility towards his family has kept his spirits going on so far, as he has learnt walking with the stick of Hope….

life goes on..for you and me, But for some like the Kashmiri Hindu refuges of Muthi and Nagrota camp,life in a Refugee camp in nothing short of nightmare,however the only motivation and inspiration which keeps them  going and gives them courage for their daily struggle of existence lies somewhere in the memories of older generation, who keeps telling the stories of their Grandeur past in Kashmir to their children and grand children, and the youth, who are determined to live a better life, away from the Refugee camps, provided they are given opportunities by the system, which at present seems to be Hostile towards them.

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K. Ps. Feel Let Down

By Prof. Gopi Kishen Muju…

Kashmiri Pandits had placed very high hopes upon the present National Conference led coalition Government in giving the community at least some representation in the State Cabinet, but unfortunately the community feels let down and disappointed on this account. One can remember many occasions like the one of Shiv Ratri Milan organized by Shri Vijay Bakaya at Sidhra (a simple function turned into a full fledged political meeting) wherein Dr. Farooq Abdullh warned K.Ps. not to let down or disown Mr. Bakaya by saying that “he is not our leader” as the community had done in case of some K.P leaders in the past. Dr, Abdullah claimed that he had now “given a leader to the community” and the community must give him due recognition.. He made [u1] a similar announcement over a function in the Abhinav Threatre, Jammu and even on some other occasions. What has happened to those commitments ? The community had been waiting for the day when Mr. Bakaya would be included in the expanded ministry. But alas! Hopes have been belied. Even if Mr. Bakaya is included now the move will have lost most of its grace, taste and shine. Very sad indeed ! The K.P .Community in general an Mr. Vijay Bakaya in particular have been let down. But Why.? If he was not to be included why to project his name. Obviously Bakaya had not asked for it ; he was offered or at least assured and promised. Does it indicate that the Party Presidenthas lost control over the party in government formation ?

The day Mr Bakaya joined N.C. a good section of K. Ps had placed hopes in him as their representative in the party and the government, though there were other K.P. members and workers in the party who too would like to be in the forefront regarding K.P.s problems. Also many other intellectuals, academicians and public spirited people had decided to join the party and give it due support taking it to be the only regional party with secular ideology Some were even in contact with the party leaders over the issue, though there was no positive response to their initiative from the party; but now after seeing what place a K.P. has in the present set up in the party and the government they are in a fix about their next move, and are forced to think afresh..

There was a time when the community had given stalwart M.P.s to the nation, Central Ministers at the Central Government level and Ministers in the State government ,diplomats and ambassadors, but now the community feels completely ignored and neglected. This should not have happened at least in the time of Dr. Farooq Abdullah. But what has happened has happened. Though it is said all is well that ends well and anything is expected in politics, but for a K.P.Community a place in the State Cabinet, a couple of seats in the legislature or suitable places in the Boards and Commissions can be claimed by it as a matter of right being a miniscule minority, a victim of militancy and original inhabitants of the land. Such positions cannot be given as of gratis or as a matter of grace but are to be claimed as a matter of right. But if this right is not delivered in time or in a right manner or is denied nothing can prove more disturbing, damaging, irrational , illogical and violation of fundamental rights. The community obviously has been made to face all the denials possible.

It is a fact that a K.P cannot get elected to any seat on his own; but all the same the community cannotbe made to live upon the mercy of others or to beg for its rights. So the community has to be provided some Constitutional Guarantees. A list of some of these Constitutional Guarantees for the Kashmiri Pandits ,Hindus and other regional minorities have been communicated to the State Government and the Central Government and the National Commission for Minorities as back as in December 1998 in a memorandum by the Kashmiri Hindu Minority Conference (Now renamed as Jammu and Kashmir Regional Minorities Conference).These demands have been duly recommended to the State and Central Governments by the National Commission for Minorities in January 1999. Unfortunately no action has been taken in the matter. Had the Government taken action upon the matter perhaps the community would not have to face the humiliating situation which it has been made to face today. It is still open for the government to take cognizance of these demands and act.

Some skeptics have raised a question as to what could a K. P.in the Ministry do for the community. Of course very little because he had to follow the policy of the government and the party. And very unfortunately both the Government ( Central as well as the State) and the political parties in the State have no place or policy for the K.Ps except to use and exploit them for their own ends. The community has been exploited at each and every level But it would have a psychological satisfaction, a commitment to secular constitution and real Kashniriat if a K.P. too would have been included in the State Ministry. He could at least present the issues of the community in the Cabinet, perhaps in a better and right way.

One wonders how Mr. Bakaya. has taken this humiliation and belying of hopes. His name has been dragged into a sort of unwarranted controversy One feels shy in talking over the issue to him. Ch. Mohd Aslam felt disgruntled over his non-inclusion and went to the Congress High Command with his complaint. To whom will Bakaya complin ? and why? . He must not feel disappointed or disgruntled Rather he had never asked for a Cabinet berth ; he only expected one which was assured to him It is the community which feels sad and betrayed.

In light of this let down a humble suggestion would be that Bakaya must immediately resign from the Legislative Council to which too he got elected very sensitively in a keen contest, and to quote Dr. Abdullah “what would have been the scene at Shivratri Milan if, God forbid, Bakaya would have “pyomut” lost the (Council) election”. This suggestion would not be made to him, had his name not been mentioned by Dr. Farrooq Abdullah himself and had he not been declared and projected as a would be representative of the Community in the Government. Even if the promise is fulfilled now it has lost the grace and taste. Let Mr. Bakaya rise to the occasion and demonstrate his caliber. Individuality, self respect and strength of the character of a real Kashmiri Pandit and , as a protest, resign from the Legislative Council.(GKM)

RENAMING OF ANANTNAG AS ISLAMABAD

JAMMU, Mar 13: While taking the serious exception to the recent resolution brought by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MLA, Peer Mansoor Hussain in State Legislative Assembly, Jammu and Kashmir Vichar Manch (JKVM) today said it is part of a big conspiracy to distort the facts about the original history of Kashmir.

The act of PDP is aimed at Islamisation of Kashmir by distorting the facts of ancient history of the Valley, JKVM senior national vice president, Dr R L Bhat told reporters here today.

Contesting the claims of the PDP MLA on history of Kashmir, he said the name of Anantnag has been mentioned over 1700 years back in Neelmat Puran one of the ancient books on history of Kashmir and same has also been mentioned by Dr Ved Kumari Ghai at three places in her book which is the translation of Neelmat Puran. The book has been published by JK Academy of Art Culture and Languages, he added.

He said the verses in Neelmat Puran describe the sacred nature of Anantnag , the importance of visiting the tirath and the merits acquired by worshiping there and the present Anantnag is built around this holy site, he added.

Dr Bhat, who was flanked by JKVM state president, Ashok Kangan, its general secretary, H L Bhat and Executive member J L Raina said, Bringish Samhita in its various Mahatamyas also carries details about the holy places in Anantnag district including Anantnag itself.

He said this way it has become clear that Anantnag is an ancient place which has been known for 1700 years past and the town is named after a holy spring which has great religious significance as per Neelmat Puran.

As quoted by MLA while referring to Taarikhi Hassan that town has been founded in Jehangir’s time under the governorship of Islam Khan and the name of the town was later changed in Ranjit Singh’s regime, Dr Bhat termed it a bundle of lies and is not based on facts.

He also contested the claims of the MLA on Hariparbat and Shankaracharya which he said were originally called Kohi Maran and Takht Suliaman. These claims are not borne by Taarikhi of Hassan Shah or any historical record, he added.

Criticising it he said this entire theory is a part of conspiracy to take Kashmir towards Islamisation.

He said the renaming of Srinagar air port on the name of Sheikh-ul-Alam is also the part of the same theory. Had there been sincerity why the airport has not been named as Nund Rishi Airport by which the Sofi saint was called by people of all religions in Valley, he asked?
SOURCE:DAILY EXCELSIOR

83 acre land belonging to displaced Pandits encroached in Kashmir

JAMMU : Jammu and Kashmir government today said that 1,608 cases of trespassing and encroachment of properties belonging to displaced Kashmiri Pandits have been detected in the Valley.

Replying to CPIM MLA, M Y Tarigami’s question in the Assembly, Minister incharge for revenue said that 1,608 cases of encroachment and trespassing have been reported in connection with properties belonging to displaced KP’s.

Nearly 83 acres of land belonging to displaced Pandits in the valley has been encroached. The process to evict the encroachers is on and 1,160 other encroachment cases have already been disposed of, he said.

He said that no immovable property of displaced Pandits has been taken into custody in terms of Section 7 of Jammu and Kashmir Immovable Property and Preservation, Protection and Restraint of Distress Sale Act of 1997.

There are total 58,618 displaced families including 33,351 Kashmiri Pandits, 2,231 Muslims and 1,701 Sikhs residing in Jammu and Kashmir and outside.
source:daily excelsior

J&K Migrants!!!!!!!!(RECOMMENDATIONS OF PARLIAMENTARY STANDING SUB-COMMITTEE.)

RECOMMENDATIONS OF PARLIAMENTARY STANDING SUB-COMMITTEE.

1. The Committee is moved by the pitiable condition of the migrants. Over the years the conditions have only worsened as families have grown and there has been no addition to their resources. The unhygienic environment in which migrants live is extremely deplorable. The committee is, therefore, of the strong view that the Government should give a serious thought to the problems of Kashmiri displaced person and improve their living conditions.

2. The Committee also expresses its deep concern over the pathetic condition of about 4000 Kashmiri Pandits living in the Kashmir Valley. The Committee feels that there should be special budgetary provision for Kashmiri Pandits left behind in the valley for fulfilling genuine needs of housing, employment/self employment and improving living conditions.

3. The Committee notes with concern that in the absence of adequate and comprehensive policy for rehabilitation, the Kashmiri displaced persons are reportedly being compelled to live in shanty-like camps set up in places like Udhampur, Nagrota, Jammu and Delhi. The displaced persons had left behind their properties, household goods, business establishments, agricultural land and other means of livelihood and continuing to lead their lives in scarcity and insecurity. Neither the Central Government nor the State Government has adopted a holistic approach to tackle the problems being faced by the displaced persons. The Committee, therefore, recommends that there should be clear directions by Central Government to all the State Governments and Union Territories to provide relief and rehabilitation on a uniform and holistic basis to Kashmiri Displaced Persons living in those States and UTs. The Committee also feels that all State Governments should provide land to them for construction of houses under group housing schemes and for construction of cultural centres. To the extent possible, registration charges and stamp duty should be waived as per a uniform policy throughout India.

4. The Committee is of the view that recommendations of the high powered inter-ministerial team appointed by Prime Minister, regarding medical fund, immediate employment of 1000 persons and construction of two room flats at existing places of dwelling in Jammu based camps should be implemented without further delay.

5. The Committee feels that the Displaced Persons living out side the camps need enhanced relief commensurating with the cost of living index and to countervail the burden of rent payments and therefore, desires that the Government should take appropriate steps in that direction immediately. The Committee also desires that the Government should implement the recommendations of the Sushma Chodhury Committee Report on Kashmiri Displaced Person residing outside the camps for improving their condition of living.

6. The Committee feels that the Displaced Persons should be encouraged to undertake self employment and micro and small scale industries. For this they require loans from the banks. The Committee recommends that the Government should provide the Kashmiri displaced persons the facilities of seeking soft loans from the banks to enable them to take up self-employment projects for earning their livelihood.

7. The Committee understands that the purpose of monthly allowance given to Kashmiri Displaced Persons is to ensure that difficulties and hardships faced by them are minimized and the needy families are provided with a reasonable quantum of sustenance and support. Keeping in view the requirement for a decent living and the expenditure, needed to be incurred, the Committee recommends that the Government should consider increasing the monthly sustenance allowance from Rs. I000 per month per head to a reasonable amount commensurate to the current cost of living.

8. The Committee strongly feels that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Central Government should take the matter of the health care of Kashmiri Pandits with utmost seriousness and sanction them a reasonably enhanced medical allowance so that they do not die of any ailments due to lack of medical attention. It would be appreciated if the Government also make a provision for providing insurance coverage to Kashmir Displaced Persons who are leading a miserable life and many of them suffering from ailments.

9. The Committee is of the view that given the complexity of the situation, confidence-building measures among the displaced persons are necessary which needs utmost attention on the part of the Government.

10. The Committee expresses its serious concern about the criminal intent of vested interests to alter the demography in the State of J & K by not only forcibly ousting the minorities out of the State but also by changing the property rights in the revenue records, so that the migrants are left with no stake to return back to the valley. The Committee strongly feels that appropriate and effective action is required to safeguard the right to properties of the Kashmiri Pandits who have been compelled to flee the state, their homes and hearths for fear of their lives and dignity.

11. The Committee was given to understand that an Apex Committee on Relief under the Chairmanship of the Revenue Minister of the J&K, had assured that within a period of three months, all encroachments would be got vacated and the details of the Kashmiri Pandits’ properties, which had been taken over by the Divisional Commissioner of each District, would be posted on the Internet. However, no action appears to have been taken on this front. The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the authorities should act forthwith with all seriousness, to remove the encroachments and instill the much needed confidence in the migrants by undertaking suitable action in this regard in a time bound manner.

12. The Committee recommends that all houses of Kashmiri Pandits lying in dilapidated condition should be rebuilt by Government or a liberal grant be offered to owners of the properties to rebuild them.

13. The Committee is also of the opinion that he Government should explore the possibility of declaring all the properties, movable and immovable, sold by the displaced persons after 1989-90, as “Distress Sales” and declare the sales as null and void and accordingly restore possession of the properties back to the respective Kashmiri Pandits who were the recorded owners through the custodian of properties duly constituted.

14. The Committee strongly feels that there should be a blanket ban on the acquisition of the properties of Kashmiri Pandits by the State Government. The Jammu & Kashmir Migrant Immovable Property (Preservation, Protection and Restraint on Distressed Sales) Act, 1997 should be implemented in letter and spirit.

15. The Committee is of the considered view that the word ‘migrant’ used in the context of the Kashmiri Displaced Persons is not an appropriate expression because the affected persons had been forced to give up their homes and hearths against their own will due to the mayhem caused by the militants. The Committee is also of the view that those persons cannot wait endlessly for normalcy to return to the valley and there is no harm if some such people refer to settle outside the valley for the sake of their lives and livelihood. The Committee therefore desires that the Government should consider this aspect and announce suitable and appropriate policy measures.

16. With the displacement of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley, they not only lost their homes but also means of livelihood which aggravated their agonies and miseries. The Committee, therefore, recommends the Ministry of Home Affairs to explore all avenues for providing employment to them under the package announced by Prime Minister in 2004 with a time -bound programme.

17. The Committee was given to understand hat the direction of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir to provide relief to the Jammu Migrants at par with the Kashmiri Migrants has not been implemented either by the Central or State Governments. The Committee also notes the order dated July 12, 2006 of the Supreme Court that the Relief Commissioner may ensure whether Jammu Migrants were provided with all relief measures to which hey were entitled as per the policy and any arrears to be paid to the migrants should be made available to them at the earliest. The Committee expresses its anguish that no step have been taken to provide relief to the Jammu Migrants. The Committee recommends that immediate steps may be taken to implement the directions of the Supreme Court.

18. The services of Kashmiri Displaced Persons who have been appointed as Teachers on ad hoc basis in MCD and Government of NCT of Delhi Schools, should be regularized. The Committee was given to understand that there are cases where Kashmiri teachers have been working on contract for the last thirteen years. The Committee is of the view that all such cases should also be regularized as soon as possible.

19. The Committee recommends to the Government to examine the demand made by the Kashmiri Displaced Persons for providing constitutionally guaranteed schemes for their social, political and economic upliftment and come out with appropriate measures.

20. The Committee takes a serious note of the fact that the actual expenditure on account of implementation of rehabilitation programmes for J&K displaced persons during 2006-07 was only Rs 69.31 crore as against the allocation of Rs. 120 crore and against Rs. 120 crore kept for 2007-08 in BE, only Rs. 100 crore was provided at RE 2007-08. The Committee once again took serious note that as enough claims were not received from the Government of Jammu & Kashmir, only Rs. 110.00 crore was kept in the BE 2008-09. The Committee in its successive Reports, i.e. 119th, 126th and 130th Reports, urged upon the Ministry to impress upon the J&K Government about the necessity of sending schemes expeditiously and implement them in time so that all the J&K Displaced Persons are rehabilitated without further delay. Inspite of those recommendations, it is unfortunate that the Government of J & K has not taken requisite action.

At the same time, the role and responsibility of the Ministry of Horne Affairs do not end by merely requesting and advising the State Government. It has to play a proactive role in the matter and vigorously pursue with the Government of J&K at the highest level so as to convince the latter the need for formulating rehabilitation schemes and sending them on time to the Central Government for further action.