December 2004 News

Team To Prepare Rehab Plan For J&K Migrants

2 December 2004
The Asian Age

New Delhi: The Prime Minister's Office on Thursday set up a three-member team to prepare a rehabilitation plan for Kashmiri migrants. The setting up of the inter-ministerial team is being described as a follow-up on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Jammu and Kashmir visit last month. Dr Singh had visited a large Kashmiri pandits' camp near Jammu. The team will be led by Planning Commission principal advisor (incharge of Jammu and Kashmir) Kasturi Gupta Menon. The other members are joint-secretary Mital Sen Gavai in the home ministry and joint-secretary Pankaj Jain in the ministry of urban employment and poverty alleviation. The team will be serviced by the home ministry. It can co-opt members from any other ministry, if needed. It has been asked to submit its report to the PMO within two months. Dr Singh had promised an inter-ministerial group to look into the problem of migrants when he visited the Muthi camp near Jammu last month. The camp reportedly houses over 1,000 families of Pandits who fled from Kashmir during the early years of the insurgency. The Prime Minister was quoted as saying that he wanted to begin a 'new chapter' for the migrants, and said their grievances about living conditions and employment opportunities were genuine. The team is expected to visit Muthi and other camps and hold discussions with the migrants. The 'rehabilitation plan' is expected to address issues relating to employment, education, health and security of women.


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