By Daya Sagar
A LOOK THROUGH THE MIST
Large majority of the people displaced from Pakistan Occupied areas of Indian State of J&K in 1947/48 commonly referred as ‘PoK’ (POJK) attack are Hindu and are those of Sikh Panth from Mirpur and Muzaffrabad Districts of J&K where as there was lesser displacement from Gilgit- Baltistan areas of Ladakh region of the erstwhile Indian Princely state of J&K (it was more due to distances/ remoteness and religious affiliations). But the neglect faced by these families could be well assessed from the fact that so far neither Government of India nor Government of J&K has initiated any process even for their regular registration and for their number count what to talk of providing logical socio- economic support .
Secretary to J&K Government (Rehabilitation -1974 Department), Jammu in response to views sought vide communication No. RS5 (18)/78-Com. II dated 27 July, 1979 by a Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions (Persons uprooted from Pak occupied areas of J&K State) had Vide letter No. RAHAB-9/II/79 dated 27.11.79 summarised that (a) there was no agency to register these refugees immediately on their entry into the State (b) there was no formal; registration of these DPs and the only considered registration is declaration forms filed in response to notice( by GOI) inviting applications (only from those families who had moved out from POJK areas during Sept 1947 – Dec 1950, those whose income was less than Rs.150 pm ( later revised to Rs. 300 pm and those whose head of family too had moved out along with family) for ex gratia grant (1960 – Payment of Rehabilitation assistant to Migrants from Pakistan held areas of Jammu & Kashmir State under No. 10(15) Policy- I / 59A 21-06-1960 Date 24-06-1960 GOI Ministry of Rehabilitation O/O Chief Rehabilitation Commissioner s/d Joint Secretary to the Government of India). The number of total applications received was 31696. So , strangely inspite of all this as per note furnished by Ministry of Supply and Rehabilitation (Department of Rehabilitation) GOI in 1978 to a Rajya Sabha Committee on petitions ( as made by Late Bachchan Singh Panchi on behalf of Jammu Kashmir Sharnarthi Action Committee) it was conveyed that as a result of Partition of the country followed by subsequent Pakistani aggression about 31600 (about 1,35,000 persons) families had left their homes from Pak occupied areas of J&K, where as no public notice has/ had been issued for formal registration on all India basis in 1960 or even by 1979 November. As per unofficial estimates may be about 50000 families had to run for their lives in 1947, some found shelter in Jammu Province / Ladakh region of J&K and a large number also went to other Indian States. Going by a likely number of 50000 families in 1947 ( although no regular registration has been got done by State or central Government) even in 1960s , the number of such displaced persons may be in 2017 atleast around 8 to 9 Lakh souls or equivalent to over 1,30,000 to 1,50,000 families.
These people then belonged to the category of State Subjects of Jammu & Kashmir ( Class-I, Class-II and Class-III) and now fall in the category of Indian Citizens classified as Permanent Residents of J&K as per Section-6 of J&K Constitution. Many of them were not able to carry even their personal documents with them and had remained occupied with horrific memories for atleast about three decades.
Imagine the extent of pennilessness, agony and helplessness of the DPs in early days in the ‘fact’ that some parents even got the age of their 3 year infant entered as 6 years or more just to get Rs. 10 /pm as ration money per head. Even this very meager financial support by government for survival (maximum Rs. 50 per month) was only provided for some time in the initial days to POJK DPS and had been discontinued thereafter what to talk of increasing the scale.
(Daya Sagar is a Sr Journalist and a social activist can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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