Various delegations meet Pant, plead for statehood to Jammu
2 June 2001
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: Various delegations called on Mr K C Pant, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India and the interlocutor of Centre to hold talks with different sections of the people to find out ways and means to solve the Kashmir issue. A delegation of senior Congress leaders Messrs Dharam Pal Sharma, M N Koul, Hari Singh, Madan Lal and Parduman Singh Azad met Mr Pant and expressed their view points regarding the importance of integrity of the State. they said Congress party in the State does not favour division of the State on regional basis because unity of the three regions is sole identity of the State. The Congress party also opposed greater autonomy on communal basis. They told Mr Pant that development of the State has come to a stand still and demanded powers to people through Panchayati Raj at par with other states of the country. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) delegation which Mr Pant, submitted a memorandum highlighting partyís demands and concern on the prevailing political and socio-economic scenario. The memorandum also said that since independence Jammu and Ladakh regions have been meted out with step motherly treatment till date. It stated that the recommendations of Gajender Gadkar, Sikri and Wazir Commissions have not been implemented till date. Prominent NCP leaders in the delegation included Messrs Th Randhir Singh, president, Abdul Gani Shah, Inder Mohan Bakshi, Amrit Sagar, Comrade Paras Ram Poonchi, Mangal Dass Dogra, Ch Hassain Ali, Molvi Mohd Yunis, Bansi Lal Sodhi, A G Khan and Peer Baba Abdul Majeed. Border Migrants Welfare Committee, sector Pallanwala, deputation led by its chairman Mr Baldev Singh Bhau, met Mr K C Pant and submitted a memorandum urging upon him that before reaching any viable solution to Kashmir problem, the interests of border migrants may not be ignored. Later the deputation met Mr A K Bhandari, Special secretary Home and apprised him about the miseries and difficulties of the border migrants. Mr Bhau brief the Home secretary about various demands which included enhancement in financial assistance and ration, permanent accommodation at safer places, compensation of killed or lost animals and for damaged properties.. Mr Bhandari listened to the deputation with patience and assured to concede the same at an earliest. Jammu Kashmir National Panthers Party delegation led by Mr harsh Dev Singh MLA, called on Mr Pant and stressed the need for reorganisation of the State keeping in view the aspirations, linguistic, cultural and geographical identities of the people of all the three regions of the State. He sought the establishment of Jammu Himalayan State, a separate state for Kashmir and a Union Territory status for Ladakh. the deputation also apprised Mr Pant of the continued discrimination meted out to Jammu region by the Kashmiri leadership in all spheres of life including allotment of developmental funds, admissions to professional colleges, recruitment in Government services and allocation of Assembly and Parliament seats and in political power. It demanded dissolution of State assembly, imposition of Governorís Rule and holding of fresh elections under independent observers. Jammu Mukti Morcha president Prof Virinder Gupta who met Mr Pant and submitted a memorandum stated that solution of the problem lies in the trifurcation of the jammu and Kashmir state into three independent political units viz Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh as separate states within indian Union. He said in the wake of J&Kís accession to India, began the sordid phenomenon of Kashmirís discrimination against Jammu. The Central Governments ignored the sentiments of the Jammu and Ladakh regions and played to the tune of Kashmiri leaders by declaring the accession as partial, subject to ratification by people of Kashmir. This blunder of Centre made people of Jammu and Ladakh regions as hostage to the inconsistent and fickle sentiments of the Kashmiri leadership. The JMM leader said the demand was in the national interest. A delegation consisting of Lt Col K S Jamwal, president Shri Amar Kashtriya Rajput Sabha, Prof Jia Lal Kotwal, Mr Yashpaul Mahajan, president Mahajan Sabha and Mr Hemantrao Sathe, general secretary Dogra Brahman Pratinidhi Sabha called on Mr Pant today and submitted a joint memorandum highlighting the continued discrimination with Jammu region and stressed for a popular demand of separate statehood for Jammu region. Confederation of Jammu Lawyers general secretary Mr Rameshwar Singh Jamwal Advocate met Mr Pant and submitted a memorandum on behalf of CJL demanding separate statehood for Jammu. Memorandum also demanded that Ladakh region should be given such political apparatus as per the popular will of that region. The State Unity Forum, whose meeting with Mr Pant could not materialize due to some reasons has in an open letter to Mr Pant urged the Centre for resolution of core issue of Jammu and Kashmir by peaceful means through trilateral dialogues involving India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir for peace, progress, economic development of India, Pakistan, Jammu Kashmir and South Asia. Sharnarthi Action Committee deputation led by S Hardit Singh Panchi met the Union Home secretary Mr Bhandari and submitted a copy of petition earlier filed to the Ministry of rehabilitation for full and final settlement of the problems of displaced persons from PoK of 1947. A deputation of State unit of Shiv Sena (Bal Thakre Sahib) under the presidentship of Swami Kalki Maharaj met Mr Pant and told him that since independence the people of Jammu region have been living at the mercy of Kashmiri rulers and the Central Governments have never cared a fig for them. The Shiv Sena said any decision on the affairs of Jammu without taking Jammuites into confidence will not be tolerated any further. A delegation of Janata Dal (Secular) led by Mr Dhan Raj Bargotra met Mr Pant and demanded among other things complete statehood for Jammu region for faster development of backward areas of Poonch, Rajouri, Doda, Udhampur, Kathua and removal of discrimination at all levels. The JD-S alleged continued discrimination with Jammu people since independence by rulers of Kashmir as also ther Central leadership. Mr Jatinder Bakshi, chairman, Action Committee for Return of Migrants interacted with Mr Pant and explained that secular ethos of J&K was destroyed with the rise of insurgency leading to migration of Hindus initially, followed by Muslims and then Sikhs from the valley. Mr Bakshi also referred to the feeling of dissatisfaction among the people in three regions of the State and suggested devolution of financial powers them in any political arrangement. Dr Kulwant Singh, convenor State Forum for Justice and Human Rights accompanied by S Sant Singh Teg met Mr K C Pant and brought to his notice the plight of displaced persons of 1947 from Mirpur, Poonch and Muzafarabad who suffered colossal loss of life in 1947 and had to flee their homes and despite lapse of 54 years, their claims for compensation of losses have not been entertained. Mr Pant assured proper consideration of issues raised by the delegation. Jammu and Kashmir Free-lance Journalists Association submitted a memorandum to Mr K C Pant. Mr Anil Paba, president JKFJA, told Mr Pant that there was no dispute at all in J&K but only a problem in certain portion of Kashmir. He said infact the Government of india should declare a clear policy of issue of Kashmir. He added that the Central Government has tried to evade the Ground realities and since 1951 allowed the Valley ruling elite to rig the elections and subvert democracy. He demanded a separate state for Jammu and UT status for Ladakh. A delegation of Muslim Migrants under the leadership of Ms Kouser Nasreen and Mr Abdul Khaliq Butt met Mr Pant and highlighted the problems being faced by Muslim migrants. Ms Nasreen putforth the general problems faced by the common masses of the State at the hands of State ruling party leaders and the administration. Mr Butt demanded job opportunities for educated unemployed youth.