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  Opinion   Edit  20 Mar 2022  AA Edit | What government owes Kashmir migrants

AA Edit | What government owes Kashmir migrants

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Mar 21, 2022, 1:50 am IST
Updated : Mar 21, 2022, 1:50 am IST

The Rs 920-crore transit accommodation project was meant for members of the community which was forced to leave their homes in 1990

So far, only 1,739 people have been accommodated in the government service; while work on more than half the transit accommodation units has not even started. (Representational Image/ PTI)
 So far, only 1,739 people have been accommodated in the government service; while work on more than half the transit accommodation units has not even started. (Representational Image/ PTI)

Reports that only 1,025 or 17 per cent of the 6,000 transit homes the Narendra Modi-led Union government had in 2015 promised to build for the Kashmiri migrants, including the Kashmiri Pandits, are completed, reflect the lethargy with which the Indian State approaches the issue of people who have been made homeless in their own land.

The Rs 920-crore transit accommodation project was meant for members of the community which was forced to leave their homes in 1990 when Pakistan-backed terrorists unleashed mayhem in the valley. The government had promised them 3,000 jobs and they could stay in the transit homes until they returned to their original home villages. So far, only 1,739 people have been accommodated in the government service; while work on more than half the transit accommodation units has not even started.

The government blames a series of factors including non-availability of land in the initial phase and cost escalation as the reasons for the delay.  It is estimated that there are more than four lakh people from 64,827 registered migrant families — majority of whom are Hindus while there are also Muslim and Sikh families — and a vast majority of them continue to live in camps in Jammu, Delhi and other states.

The refugees of Kashmir are a favourite propaganda theme of the BJP whether there are elections or not. Little does the party remember that it was in power at the Centre in 13 of the 32 years after the exodus; or that it ruled the Jammu and Kashmir state along with the People’s Democratic Party for three years from 2015 March to June 2018, and wields total control of the state in the last two-and-a-half years ever since Article 370 was abrogated in August 2019. Yet, very little has been done for the migrants. If the party means business and wants deliver justice to the Kashmiri Pandits, it should work for their resettlement with full vigour instead of stopping at demanding tax concession for a film that depicts the injustice they met.

Tags: jammu and kashmir, kashmir migrants