By Daya SagarA large population had been displaced from the areas of the then princely Indian State of J&K that were occupied by Pakistan after on 22nd October 1947 an open attack was made on the State , many were killed by invaders, many were killed while fighting the invaders. No data (if at all had been complied by Government of India ) has so far been made public as regards the total number of families displaced, the souls killed by the invaders and the properties left behind by fleeing their hearths. Those who could manage to save their life moved to safer areas of J&K or managed to reach other Indian states. Prince of J&K had formally signed the instrument of accession on 26th October and large number of families had finally left Mirpur even on 25th November 1947.
The families who came from POJK areas to peace areas were not treated as refugees since they had moved to safer areas in their own country and hence were not given claims for any properties / assets left behind by Government of India. The J&K Government officially called them Displaced Persons from Pakistan Occupied areas of J&K (POJK) and Government of India laid down in policy that these families will be resettled back in their native villages / towns/ cities in POJK after pushing out the occupier ( Pakistan ). So accordingly in the J&K Constitution where under Section 47 (1) the state Legislative Assembly was divided in 100 territorial Constituencies in Section-48 it was laid down that notwithstanding anything contained in Section 47(a) until the area of the State under the occupation of Pakistan ceases to be, so occupied and the people residing in that area elect their representatives twenty-five seats in the Legislative Assembly shall remain vacant (later through a constitutional amendment in 1975 the number of seats for POJK was reduced to 24). It is already nearing 73 years that atleast the 1947 POJK DP families are looking for their return but that has not been possible.The way the affairs had remained in confusions and political complexities even internally after 1947 the areas of occupied by Pakistan and even the families displaced from there have remained under very less focus of the Indian leadership from the point of view of vacation of areas / rehabilitation of the displaced families and instead more focus has remained on political rivalries for local governance .They have not been treated as refugees and were named as Displaced Persons by Government in 195O ( order No. 1476-C of 1950 dated 16.12.1950 ) while those who had left Jammu & Kashmir and gone to Pakistan ( the then West Punjab) on their own were termed as migrants In late 1970s J&K Government had proposed to GOI for compensating them in any form as more than 3 decades had already passed by then but that was not agreed to by GOI maintaining that they will surely get back their land ( for idea sake it could be said that assets that would cost Rs.1000 in 1947 the compensation could be atleast Rs.20 Lac in 2015 just by taking 12 % interest annually compounded. The people who came from Pakistan sponsored/ tribal invaded areas of Mirpur, Muzaffrabad, Kotli, Bhimber, Sudhnati, Poonch-Rawlakote, Deva Batala etc mostly took shelter in other safe areas in Jammu region or went to Punjab / Delhi / MP/UP/ Bombay etc. Imagine the extent of pennilessness, agony and helplessness of the DPs in early days 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.What to talk of considering payment of some grants ( if not property claims) to compensate them atleast for direct material loss suffered in 1947 ( if not for the agony these families who could be said the first victim of Pakistan aggressions on J&K ) many of their families (govt records say 5300 families of 1947 times ) staying in Indian states other than J&K have not been paid even the so called , so irrational , one time settlement amount of just Rs.5.5 lakh/ 1947 time family as was sanctioned in 2016 December by Government of India even when regular requests for doing the corrections have been made over last 4 years. Not only that it will not be wrong in case some of their families allege that in a way their fair/ legitimate right of being subjects of J&K has also been snatched while drawing the definition of Domicile of UT of J&K under S.O.1229 (E ) of 31-03-2020 ( definition of Domicile for UT of Ladakh has not been drawn yet )It will not be out of place to mention here that neither the UN has been able to make Pakistan vacate the areas even in more than 7 decades of Indian complaint nor has India asked Pakistan in plain words to vacate the occupied areas by an appointed date .It is nearly an year since issue of S.O 3979 of 02-11-2019 but even after that neither the POJK areas of erstwhile State of J&K are shown in the revenue jurisdictions of Div. Com ( J), Div. COM (K) and Div. Com ( L) what to talk of Pakistan vacating the areas by a appointed date so that the 1947 POJK DP Families / their descendants a move back to their hearths/ lands for which GOI has far denied payment of any compensation/ claims as were given to refugees from Pakistan in terms of 1947 partition of India.It was on 26th June 2013 that memorandum addressed to S. Man Mohan Singh the then Prime Minister was submitted by POJK DPs through Divisional Commissioner Jammu and among other things in the said memo it was submitted ” The areas of J&K in POJK should be specifically mentioned in all future reference by the Government as jurisdictions of Divisional Commissioner Jammu and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir since these are part of J&K . So far these areas are not referred in the jurisdictions of Divisional Commissioners. So that the POK DPs who have to obtain State Subject Certificate / PRC ( who may not be having the same / may have lost during turmoil/ their elders may have gone for bread earning outside J&K to Delhi or elsewhere and now want the PRC) can apply to Divisional Commissioner Kashmir or Jammu for the same instead of running from pillar to post. ….” . No doubt some hopes arose ( though belated ) when after 5th August 2019 the State of J&K was reorganised into two union territories of J&K and Ladakh with appointed date as 31-10-2019 ( in terms of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act of 2019, Act No 34 of 2019, named as principal Act ) but It is now over more than 11 months even after issue of S.O 3979 of 02-11-2019 but still neither the POJK areas of erstwhile State of J&K are shown in the revenue jurisdictions of Div. Com ( J), Div. COM (K) and Div. Com ( L).No doubt some reference of Displaced Persons has been made in the rules for registration of left over migrants / displaced families of J&K but in the Rules for issue of Domicile of J&K ( S.O 166 of 18-05-2020) there is no direct reference of POJK DPs ( left over / who could not get issued PRC) as a category for obtaining Domicile certificate.Hence even the Rules for issue of Domicile of UT need to be recast so as to remove the doubts & incomplete descriptions as regards the “displaced persons” and the competent authority to whom the Displaced Persons/ descendant from POJK who do not have PRC / or staying in other Indian states should apply for issue of Domicile Certificate.(Daya Sagar is a Sr Journalist / Analyst Jammu & Kashmir Affairs [email protected])
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