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Refugees from Pakistani Kashmir threaten to occupy flats

Posted by on February 18, 2011 0 Comment

Jammu, Feb 18 (IANS) Protesting what it calls double standards towards refugees, an organisation of refugees from the Pakistan- administered Kashmir, SOS International, Friday threatened to occupy the residential blocks constructed for Kashmiri migrants.

More than 4,000 flats with all facilities have been constructed for Kashmiri migrants at Jagti, a town near Jammu, and the complex is likely to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his forthcoming visit to Jammu early March.

Rajiv Chuni, chairman of SOS International, in a statement sought the allotment of the flats as per the ratio of population of refugees from across the Line of Control, which he claimed is 1.2 million, and Kashmiri migrants, who are about 200,000.

“Otherwise, we would be forced to occupy these flats,” he said.

Chuni alleged that the central and the state governments had been discriminating against refugees from Pakistan-administered Kashmir who are living in 79 camps for the past 63 years, while Kashmiri migrants were being given monthly relief, free ration and now residential flats.

“Why this discrimination?” he asked and pointed out: “We are as much residents of Jammu and Kashmir as the migrants from the valley.”

Chuni termed it as an “absurd” idea that the government would reclaim the territory of the state under the occupation of Pakistan and restore refugees to their homes in that part of Kashmir, while it was setting up residential colonies for migrants from the Kashmir Valley.

He said he suspected that this is being done to “keep Kashmiri migrants permanently out of the valley and make them to stay permanently in Jammu.”

Although the refugees from Pakistan-administered Kashmir and migrants from Doda, Rajouri and hilly parts of Udhampur have been demanding the facilities being extended to Kashmiri migrants, nothing has been done to bridge the gap, he noted.

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