PoJK Refugees Seek Abolition Of Custodian Dept

14 May 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)

Jammu: Refugees from Pakistan-occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK) today asked the state government, especially the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to abolish the Evacuee and Custodian Department and start process for allotment of properties to the refugee families who have been living in them for the last six decades. The Custodian Department was created to look after the properties left by Muslims, who migrated to Pakistan in 1947 after the Partition of India. The properties, especially the houses, were later allotted to Hindu and Sikh refugee families who got uprooted during the same period when the state was attacked by tribal hordes. Refugees held a protest today in Jammu and expressed dismay over the silence of the BJP, which had promised that the party would solve the issue of refugees if it came to power in the state. 'Those displaced people who are staying in custodian houses are paying rent to the Evacuee Department. The rent should be waived so that people can have rights on these properties,' said Capt (retd) Yudhvir Singh Chib, president of the front. The front has also demanded that the youth belonging to the displaced families be provided bank loans on subsidised interest or financial assistance from the government to establish their own concern to generate self-employment for themselves. The front has also demanded registration of the displaced families, who have not been listed, and a minimum compensation of Rs 30 lakh per family for the loss of properties, household items. 'The displaced families uprooted in 1947, 1965 and 1971 wars are forced to stay in the vicinity of border areas of Jammu, RS Pura, Samba, Hirannagar and Kathua and all the families should be given Actual Line of Control area certificate so that their wards can get benefit in jobs,' said Jai Pal Sharma, general secretary of the front.