5400 families from Pakistan in Jammu & Kashmir got land rights after 68 years

Pak refugees will vote for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir: 5400 families from Pakistan got land rights after 68 years

Sep 19, 2022 - 06:51
5400 families from Pakistan in Jammu & Kashmir got land rights after 68 years

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has started the process of giving land ownership rights to refugees from West Pakistan. According to government records, 5,400 families migrated from Pakistan to the border areas of Jammu after 1947. Most were Hindus and Sikhs. These families settled in Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts.
In 1954, 46,666 canals (5,833 acres) of land were given to them in Jammu, Samba and Kathua, but even after 68 years, they did not get ownership of the land. Actually, they were not considered citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. Neither had the right to buy land nor to do government jobs. After the abolition of Article 370, the government considered them to be residents of this place. The government has also given Rs 5.5 lakh per family to the refugees.
The number of refugee families has increased to 22,000 over the past few decades. Hence it has emerged as a strong vote bank. According to political experts, getting them voting rights can benefit the BJP in the assembly elections. Because, during Article 370, they did not have the right to vote in the assembly elections. Their votes can prove to be decisive in about 6 assembly seats.
According to J&K officials, the revenue department had started an exercise to work out the modalities for allotment of proprietary rights. Under this, data is being prepared on the number of refugees and their families, the total land under their occupation, the status of that land and other information. On this basis, the process of grant of ownership has started.
The Revenue Department has directed the Jammu, Samba and Kathua district administrations to complete all the processes at the earliest. A government source said that a formal announcement will be made to give them ownership rights at a big function in the coming month.

Muskan Kumawat Journalist & Writer