No Separate Townships for Pandits, says MHA

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KL Report

SRINAGAR

pandit-protest

Kashmiri pandits protesting at Jantar Mantar.

Putting speculations at rest, Ministry of Home Affairs, government of India Tuesday said that there is no proposal to create separate zones for Kashmiri Pandits in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

“No proposal to create separate zones exclusively for the Kashmiri Pandits in the State of Jammu and Kashmir is under consideration,” stated Minister of State for Home Affairs, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary in a written reply in lower house of parliament today.

According to a statement from Press Information Bureau, the MHA said, “Due to onset of militancy in the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in early 1990s, most of the Kashmiri Pandit families along with some Sikh and Muslim families migrated from the Kashmir Valley to Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country. Present number of registered Kashmiri migrant families is about 62,000. About 40,668 registered Kashmiri migrant families are residing in Jammu; about 19,338 registered Kashmiri migrant families are living in Delhi and about 2,000 families are settled in other states.”

The statement added that the Government announced a Comprehensive Package amounting to Rs 1,618.40 Crore in the year 2008 for the return and rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Migrants, which provides for many facilities for the migrants e.g. financial assistance for purchase/construction/ repair of houses, construction of transit accommodation, continuation of cash relief, scholarship to students, employment/self-employment, assistance to the agriculturists and the horticulturist and waiver of interest on unpaid loan etc.

“The Prime Minister’s Package – 2008 is being implemented by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir. So far state government jobs have been provided to 1,553 migrant youths and one family has availed the benefit of Rs 7.5 Lakh for construction of house. Also, 469 Transit accommodations have been constructed in the Kashmir Valley and these have been allotted to the newly appointed migrant employees under the Package,” the statement further said.

“The expenditure incurred by the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir in respect of relief and rehabilitation of the Kashmiri migrants is reimbursed by the Government of India under Security Related Expenditure (Relief & Rehabilitation) – SRE (R&R). An assistance of approx. Rs 1,599.18 Crore has been provided to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir by the Central Government in this respect under SRE (R&R) since 1989-90,” it maintained.

The MoS was replying to a question by P.Nagarajan, Sudheer Gupta, Lallu Singh, Ashwini Kumar, Gajanan Kirtikar, Kunwar Haribansh Singh, Lalubhai Babubhai Patel, B.Sriramulu and Adv. M. Udhayakumar in the Lok Sabha.

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