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Kashmiri migrants to get government job opportunities

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New Delhi: The union cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal to provide state government job opportunities and transit accommodation in the Kashmir Valley for thousands of Kashmiri migrants forced to flee their homes in the early 1990s.

The proposal is estimated to cost Rs 2,000 crore, an official statement said.

The cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also approved a proposal to provide relief to the migrants of the hilly areas of Jammu division at par with the relief being provided to the Kashmiri migrants — worth Rs.13.45 crore — annually

Terrorist violence, militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in its early phases, had led to large scale forced migration of members of the Kashmiri Pandit community along with some Sikh and Muslim families from the Kashmir Valley,

At present, there are about 62,000 registered migrant Kashmiri families residing in Jammu, Delhi and neighbouring areas as well as other parts of the country, it said.

The new proposal provides for additional 3,000 state government jobs to the Kashmiri migrants with financial assistance from the central government and construction of transit accommodations in the Kashmir Valley for the Kashmiri migrants to whom state government jobs are given.

The statement said the central government would carry the financial burden for the whole programme.

In another decision, the cabinet approved a proposal for providing relief to the migrants of the hilly areas of Jammu division at par with the relief being provided to the Kashmiri migrants involving a total estimated expenditure of Rs 13.45 crore per annum

 

Besides the families who migrated from the valley, many families migrated from different hilly areas of Jammu division to safer places of nearby towns due to security reasons. At present, there are about 1,054 registered Jammu migrant families,

At present, the Jammu and Kashmir government was providing cash relief of Rs 400 per head per month (maximum Rs 1,600 per family per month), cash assistance of Rs 300 per cattle per month for purchase of fodder, plus dry ration (9 kg atta, 2 kg rice per person per month and 10 liter kerosene per family per month) to the migrants of the hilly areas of Jammu division.

The new proposal would enhance the relief being provided to the migrants of the hilly areas of Jammu division at par with the Kashmiri migrants i.e. a cash relief of Rs 2,500 per head per month (maximum Rs 10,000 per family per month) plus relief for ration and fodder.

The expenditure incurred by the state government in this regard would now be reimbursed by the central government.

Earlier in 2008, a package of Rs 1,618.40 crore was announced to facilitate the return of the migrants to the Kashmir Valley.

Under this package, 3,000 state government jobs were to be provided to the Kashmiri migrant with central funding, of whom 1,963 jobs have already been provided and process for remaining is underway.

A total of 469 transit accommodations have been constructed in the Kashmir valley which have been allotted to the newly appointed migrant employees on sharing basis.

 (Inputs from IANS)

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The Plight Of Kashmir’s Pandits

The Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora said a memorandum signed by thousands of Kashmiri Pandits has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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Kashmiri Pandits
Plight of Kashmiri Pandits continues: Community members. Flickr

Dozens of Kashmiri Pandits on Friday paid homage to civilians, Army men and their community members killed since 1989 and said the plight of Pandits still continues.

For 28 years, the Kashmiri Pandit community has been observing September 14 as ‘Martyrs’ Day-Balidan Diwas’ at B.K. Ganjoo memorial park in Central Delhi.

United Kingdom-based activist Shafalica Bhan Kotwal who has been fighting for the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits, said: “There is no major change in the lives of Kashmir Pandits, their plight still continues despite Bharatiya Janata Party being in power.

Kashmiri pandits
Kashmir. Pixabay

“Most of them were thrown out of their homes. They are living in pathetic conditions in shelter homes with no basic facilities.”

She said the community was once accustomed to living in minus 17 degrees Celsius. “Their families are now living in the hostile Jammu weather,” she added.

The son of Kasmiri Pandits’ leader Tika Lal Taploo, Ashutosh Taploo, was at the meeting. He said: “My father was killed not just because he was a Pandit..because he was looked as the Hindu community leader.”

Kashmiri Pandits
Kashmiri Hindus protest renaming of Shankaracharya Hill. Flickr

Taploo said his father was the first Pandit to have fallen to terrorist bullets in the Valley.

Also Read: Jammu And Kashmir’s Ad Film Wins Gold At IAA Awards

“Till today no government has brought any major change in Pandits’ lives, the atrocities we experienced and psychological trauma we suffered is fresh” he said.

In a statement calling for justice to “victims of terrorism,” the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora said a memorandum signed by thousands of Kashmiri Pandits has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted to Union Minister Hansraj Ahir. (IANS)