Allowing illegal inflow of ex-terrorists in Bharat-II
Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo
Lakhs of 1947 refugees who are living in the State and are struggling for their citizenship rights, compensation and voting rights for the last 66 years have been in principle sidelined by the policy of rehabilitation for ‘ex-terrorists’—while the ex-terrorists, their Pakistani wives and children have been given preference over them. This is a very awkward situation that the nationalist forces in the State have been put to by the powers that be.
The wives and children of the ‘returnee ex-militants’ who are generally Pakistan citizens and have been brought up in the Pakistan social set-up (where India-baiting is a common cord), after entering India via an illegal route, envisage for them the following:
Relief, cash assistance, jobs and packages at the cost of public exchequer, grant of constitutional right to purchase and sale of movable and immovable property in India and naturalisation of citizenship in India.
The “Procedure” given in the “Policy” adopted by the Government in the year 2010 for rehabilitation has been given a complete good-bye by allowing the ‘returnees’ to adopt Nepal route. How and why the governments allowed illegal arrival of the so-called ex-terrorists is a big mystery. It has not only put the policy for rehabilitation into the dustbin but has also allowed illegal immigration from Nepal to India.
Why Pakistan should give passports to these people and how Nepal gives its visa to them is another mystery. People having Pakistan passports and Nepal visa need also Indian visa to enter Indian borders (from Nepal route as well) but in these cases, no such Indian visa has been issued to these people. Thus, this is a clear case of not only ‘illegal immigration’ but also of ‘illegal trafficking’ to which the Government of India is either a silent spectator or has some tacit understanding with the J&K government. Here it needs to be emphasised that the procedure to adopt Nepal route illegally envisages violation of a number of national laws, bilateral treaties and international conventions.
The people coming from Pakistan/PoK under the policy need to be put in the counselling centres under the supervision and surveillance for three months but no such counselling centres have been established by the government. In fact, these people were allowed to form association and go for protests against the government demanding various facilities and privileges. It seems that the role of the intelligence agencies and the security forces has been minimised to the lowest level on the subject and the role of Bureau of Immigration and High Commission of India in Pakistan has been brought to a naught. Whether the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu is in the picture or not is another mystery.
One is reminded of the patronage given to the secessionist elements post Maqbool Bhat execution in Kashmir, release of 77 dreaded terrorists in Kashmir in 1989 and release of 5 terrorists in return for release of Rubaya Syed in 1989. All these incidents were followed by a substantial increase in terror related incidents coupled with mayhem and generalized anarchy to which we are all witness. It further militarised the general society and laid foundations for radical fundamentalism and grass-root level broad-based terrorism in the Jammu and Kashmir State.
The relative improvement in the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir is largely due to the following factors: Better border management techniques employed by the security forces, neutralisation of terrorism in the areas under the control of security forces and Village Defense Committees (particularly in Doda district) and overall sacrifices made by the valiant security forces in the line of duty.
For the last three to four months, a number of terror related incidents took place in Kashmir in which a number of security forces, elected panchs and sarpanchs were killed by the terrorists. Some fidayeen attacks were also carried out on security forces’ camps. There is a general belief that these attacks might have been carried out by these ‘ex-militant returnees’ from PoK/Pakistan. There are reports that some of the ‘returnees’ have gone into hiding and are engaged in “re-grouping” in certain vulnerable areas.
The two and a half decades of terrorism has taken a heavy toll on the peace loving people of J&K. The victims of terrorism are still without any concrete process of relief and rehabilitation. The way in which the government has sought to facilitate the return of the ex-militants would not only demoralise these victims of terrorism but would also send a wrong message to the nationalist forces in the State. The younger generations in the State would also be misled into the belief that anti-national activities and terrorism have a premium in the Jammu and Kashmir State.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has been vehemently pressurising the government of India to recognise the “illegal immigration from Nepal route” as a genuine passage for the ‘returnee ex-militants’. This insistence of the J&K government creates a number of questions and formally opens illegal flood gates for Pakistan citizens to settle in the Indian territory for ever as the first class citizens of India.
It is for the first time in the history of Independent India that an elected government is not only helping illegal immigration but is also advocating for an illegal passage to be recognised as the legal one and that too for the people who were/are directly connected with terror and anti-national subversive activities.
This policy has the potential to ultimately negate all the gains achieved in the control of terrorism in the State over these years.
(The author is the President of Panun Kashmir)