Are we not humans? Why can’t we have citizenship? – WPR
A protest rally was organized by the West Pak Refugees Action Committee in 1947 J&K. The rally was demonstrated at Maharaja Hari Singh Park Jammu, under the leadership of Labha Ram Gandhi, President of the Committee.
The West Pak refugees are the migrants from West Pakistan during holocaust 1947, who settled in the border districts of the Jammu region. They are not considered as State Subject of J&K and are hence deprived of all fundamental, constitutional, legal and statutory rights in the state.
The committee demanded the required amendments in the legislations which doesn’t even require any amendment in the constitution. The committee also mentioned that the Supreme Court of India in the year 1987 also observed that the J&K legislature needs to amend certain laws in the J&K legislation including J&K Representation of People Act, Land Alienation Act, Panchayat Act. The WPR are not eligible to be included in the electoral or to acquire land or to be elected in the panchayat elections. The refugees are also denied employment opportunities and they can be provided employment if the government amends the J&K Civil Services Classification of Control and Appeal rules.
The successive governments in the state have brought no change in the lapse of 27 years. Moreover under Section 6 they have been denied permanent citizenship and there is a mechanism in the State to amend that, which needs two third majority of both the houses of the State Legislator but even after 58 years have elapsed, no such amendment has been proposed by the successive ruling parties. The PM India had announced a special rehabilitation package including special recruitment for the West Pak children but nothing has been done by the State government since 2008.
The committee said that we have been appealing all the political parties to remove the disparities which have been troubling the West Pak refugees. The committee expressed its agitation that if the proposed amount of 30 lakhs per family is not considered, the consequences will not be healthy. “We appeal to the Government to redress our grievances by issuance of an order as the Government is all competent to do it,” added a party official. The party also said that the new government should not play politics with our genuine appeals and should come true to the promises made.