Raja Syed Rather
Jammu, May 1: Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Monday said that West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) were tied with the “chains of slavery and treated as the second class citizens for a long time” but after August 5, 2019 historic decision of Prime Minister Narendera Modi, refugees were given all rights of a “dignified citizen of a country.” The LG said the administration led by him will ensure “ownership rights to WPRs very soon.”
“There is no denying the fact that WPRs were treated as second class citizens in J&K. You were kept in the chains of slavery for long and it took a long time to set you free from those chains,” the LG said after inaugurating the Special Governance Camp for WP refugee families at Chakroi, R S Pura, in Jammu.
He said that first, the government started to resolve the issues of migrant Kashmiri Pandits, then Pakistan occupied J&K displaced families and now WPRs. “The camp aims to resolve the grievances of WP refugees, address the issues related to verification of pending cases and create awareness about various welfare and self-employment schemes besides placement drive with focus on eligible candidates,” the LG said, adding that “there is no fun of digging the past and focus has to be on future now.”
He said after Prime Minister Narendera Modi’s historic decision on August 5, 2019, disparity of decades ended and “You (WPRs) were entitled to participate in Assembly, Parliamentary, Panchayat and other elections. You have now proper rights and identity.” The LG said that the administration is aware of the fact that land has been given to WP refugees but not the “ownership rights.” “We are working on the proposal to ensure that you get ownership rights as well within the shortest possible time,” he said, adding that “there is also a large chunk of people (WP refugees) who haven’t received proper compensation. That issue will also be addressed soon.”
Sinha said that WP refugees will get all the benefits of governance. “Your services to serve the nation are of great importance for us. Your children can get admission in any college, school or university,” he said. “Under the PM Modi’s vision, WPRs are no less than any other citizen of the country.”