Registration Of Pandits Willing To Return To Kashmir Starts

17 June 2008

Jammu: In the first such exercise in the last 19 years since Pandits migrated from the valley, Jammu and Kashmir government has commenced registration of displaced persons desirous of returning to Kashmir. 'We have today formally started registration process for displaced migrants, who desire to return to Kashmir valley and settle there,' Relief Commissioner, Vinood Koul said. 'Over 2000 registration forms have been made available to migrants, who can get them from the office of Relief Commissioner. As distribution of forms increases, more forms would be made available,' he said. This step has been taken to give practical shape to the Prime Minister's rehabilitation package for Kashmiri migrants, which includes Rs 7.5 lakh one time amount for building houses, besides jobs, relief, trade packages in valley for their return. A four page registration form would also seek consent from the members of displaced community interested in returning to their homes and hearths in the valley. 'Government will seek response of the community for return package announced by the prime minister. Migrants interested in return to the valley have to furnish details so that the government can take measures for their honorable rehabilitation,' he said. He said the form seeks details of the facility the community needs in the valley and how they want to be settled. besides employment facilities, the government will also continue relief, provide transit accommodation, scholarships to school-going children and assistance for renovation and construction of houses. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to Jammu on May 25 had announced the rehabilitation package for Kashmiri migrants. As many as nearly three lakh Pandits had migrated from the valley in the wake of militancy in 1989.