Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday said his administration will ensure that West Pakistan refugees living in the Union Territory will get land ownership rights.
He said Articles 370 and 35A had denied political rights and other benefits to these refugees and hindered their prosperity and upward mobility.
“There is a demand that you (West Pakistan refugees) don’t have ownership of the land. Ownership rights of land to West Pakistani refugees will be ensured by the UT administration on the directions of the Central government,” Sinha said.
He was speaking after inaugurating a ‘Special Governance Camp’ for the West Pakistani Refugees at Chakroi in R S Pura sector here.
The special camp will resolve grievances, carry out verification of pending cases and create awareness about various welfare and self-employment schemes besides a placement drive for eligible candidates from the displaced families, Sinha said.
“Articles 370 and 35A had denied political rights and other benefits to West Pakistani Refugee families and prevented their scope of progression and upward mobility. Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji provided them with the rights enjoyed by other citizens of the country and they are no longer treated as refugees,” Sinha said.
“The government is working with dedication and commitment to realise the dreams of the community. It is a fresh dawn, which offers the people limitless possibilities and a new hope to the youth. We will ensure that they become architects of J&K’s strong and prosperous tomorrow,” the Lt Governor said.
He also reiterated the administration’s commitment to work for the larger interest of the displaced families.
“The governance camp will act as an institutional structure to effectively resolve all the pending cases within a time frame and mitigate the problems of farmers. Our thrust will be on measures for economic and social development, social justice and equality,” Sinha said.
He also assured every possible support and assistance from the administration to the youth of the refugee families in their entrepreneurial and business ventures.
Article 370, which have special status to J&K, barred West Pakistan refugees to apply for government jobs or avail scholarships and admissions in colleges as well other welfare schemes.
They also couldn’t vote or own land. The special status to J&K was ended by the Centre on August 5, 2019.