People of J&K resist
Resettlement Act and PoK passengers ownership demand
By Khajuria S. Kant
Dr Nirmal Singh, the state BJP president of J&K, has said that the BJP has to repeat history by once again, defeating the evil designs of UPA and of the state government on the refugees from PoK and has apprised the people of the grave consequences of New Delhi'sforeign policy vis-?-vis Jammu & Kashmir. He said this while addressing the party cadre during a protest dharna in Jammu.
He said that in 1982 the BJP, under the leadership of Atal Behari Vajpayee, had organised massive demonstrations in and outside the Parliament and forced the then Congress government to not allow the National Conference government to introduce the unsettling Resettlement Act. It is again the BJP which has to shoulder the responsibility by opposing tooth and nail the Resettlement Act, he added.
The state BJP organised a massive protest under the leadership of Dr Nirmal Singh, to warn the people that national security is in grave danger under the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and the Congress-supported PDP-led coalition government in the state. The BJP would under no conditions, allow these Pakistan-friendly formations to play with the future of the state as well as of the over three lakh Hindu and Sikh refugees from PoK residing in the evacuee property in Jammu. As a sense of insecurity and apprehension plagues the minds of the people of Jammu region on their future when some passengers, who had returned from Muzaffarabad (PoK) after 56 years, have applied for restoration of their ancestral properties left behind in J&K before their migration to Pakistan. It is pertinent to mention here that a Kashmiri woman, who came back from PoK after 56 years, approached the state government for restoration of her ancestral property in the state, which is presently in the care of the Custodian Department. The development has attracted a lot of controversy.
The BJP leader recalled that in 1983, the Congress had contested the Assembly elections and won most of the seats on the promise of repealing the Resettlement Act of 1982, which was notoriously known as Bill No. 9 and which provided for return of the migrants from Pakistan and PoK to get their properties restored and which were under the control of the Custodian Department.
Nirmal Singh said despite winning a large number of seats, especially from Jammu region on the slogan of repealing Bill No. 9, the Congress has not taken any initiative to get rid of this law. He said now, when the Congress was in power in the state and at the Centre, its leaders must explain to the people what measures they plan to adopt to get rid of Bill No. 9. He said it was a serious development as lakhs of people, especially refugees from PoK and Pakistan, who were settled on these properties on rent, would be severely affected. Fear grips the tenants of evacuee property in Jammu & Kashmir.
Condemning the statement of Union Minister of State, Prakash Jaiswal, for terming this as a democratic and healthy process, Nirmal Singh said it looks that people at the helm of affairs are simply ignorant of the ground realities and do not understand the implications. He further added that the BJP would vehemently oppose the state Chief Minister'smove to reintroduce the draconian Resettlement Act in the Assembly in the forthcoming session.
Dr Nirmal Singh demanded immediate repeal of the Resettlement Act, disbanding of the Custodian Department, re-introduction of the passport and visa system, grant of proprietary rights to the allottees and tenants of the evacuee property and reversal of the Kashmir policy.