Hindu refugees from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and West Pakistan settled in Jammu and Kashmir have been treated as children of lesser god for the past 60 years.
During the 1947 Partition, several Hindus from West Pakistan migrated to India and later during the invasion of Muslim tribal in erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir princely state several Hindus were killed and the remaining were forced to migrate to Hindu-dominated Jammu. Almost sixty year had passed and these Hindu refugees are still awaiting citizenship rights of Jammu and Kashmir.
No one'sbabies, these refugees, over 5,000 families have become the victims of political aspirations of Muslim politicians of Kashmir region, who have ignored their rights for their vested interests. If these refugees would be given state subject rights of Jammu and Kashmir, the Hindu-dominated Jammu region would have more political will, a political analyst said.
Several refugee forums have been raising their demands for the past few years but all in vain. They have the support of BJP, Jammu State Morcha and other groups but the respective state governments from National Conference, PDP to Congress have put their demands down the drain.
The respective candidates of these political parties, however, make hollow promises to these refugees during the Parliament elections since these people then could exercise their votes.
The Muslim politicians from Kashmir were exposed recently when they refused to allow any move which would give Hindu refugees Permanent Resident Certificate rights, arguing that it was unconstitutional.
Rajiv Chunni, the chairman of refugee forum SOS, said that the Congress leaders from Jammu who support the issue surrendered to the Kashmiri politicians at an all-party meet last month to resolve the problem. Meanwhile, the refugees from Chamb and Akhnoor areas held by Pakistan last week vented their anger against PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti by raising slogans against her and her party for opposing their rights. Meanwhile, sources have disclosed that National Conference and People'sDemocratic Party, which have roots in Kashmir region are against the solution of refugees? problem. PDP and NC walked out of the meeting when the issue came for discussion in a committee set-up by the Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
It must be mentioned here that it was National Conference that brought the Resettlement Bill when came to power last. Under the bill, the Muslims from Pakistan held Kashmir were entitled to their property rights here if they want to return.
The Hindu groups of Jammu allege that because the people in question concerned are Hindus that is why the parties from Kashmir are opposing their rights; had it been Muslims, they would have opened their arms for them long back. Meanwhile the refugee forums have stated that they would continue their agitation till the government concedes to their demands.
The three generations of these refuges have no rights in jobs, education and other areas despite living here for the past 60 years.