Jammu Mantri Gives Land Ownership Orders To Refugees

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Jammu, Sept 30: Asserting the government was keen to settle the Pak-administered Kashmir refugees’ issues, the Revenue minister, Raman Bhalla, Sunday handed over “ownership rights orders of 436 kanal land to 686 families of Bhour Campo and Chatha villages before addressing “a large gathering of displaced persons,” an official handout said.

He said a “high-powered delegation of Jammu and Kashmir ministers” met the prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, union home minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, besides UPA chairperson and AICC president, Sonia Gandhi, for “one time and early redress of their long pending issues.”

However, the Revenue minister did not elaborate on the “one time and early redress of their (PaK refugees) long pending issues.” Without identifying the “high-powered delegation of Jammu and Kashmir ministers,”

Bhalla said the “delegation of Congress ministers headed by the PCC chief, Prof Saif-ud-din Soz,” had met the prime minister, the UPA chairperson and the home minister, and briefed them “about the decades-old demands and struggle of refugees.”

Bhalla said 436 kanal land had been regularized under Common Land Act 1956 and that the government was committed to develop all the colonies of refugees on modern lines with all infrastructure. He said displaced persons were “the eyes, ears and arms” of the government, adding that “all out efforts have been initiated to resolve the issues of the displaced persons of 1947, 1965 and 1971.”

The minister said that following endeavors of the present government, the centre had released Rs 49 crore package for “distribution of land deficiency compensation” among them, adding that each family had been provided Rs 1.50 lakh “after their proper verification” by Revenue officers and record.

Bhalla said the Revenue Department had “regularized several colonies of PaK displaced persons of Jammu region under Common Land Act 1956.” He said instructions had been issued to prepare the record for regularization of left out colonies in the state as ‘Abadi Deh’ so that the beneficiaries could also enjoy the ownership rights of the land under their possession. Special cells have been set up in divisional and deputy commissioners’ offices to assess the problems of DPs for early redress, he added.

Bhalla said it was pointed out (to the PM, UPA chairperson and HM) that refugees and their children from West Pakistan could not apply for government jobs and purchase property in the state. They should be provided reservation in the central government jobs and other relaxations should also be given to them, he added.

Bhalla said the delegation stressed upon the union leaders that resolution of refugees’ issue was one of the points mentioned in the Congress manifesto during last elections and the party was committed to it. The prime minister was reminded about the memorandum submitted to him during his visit to Jammu last year, regarding ‘refugees’ demands, the minister said. Observer News Service

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