The tale of unending discrimination with people of Jammu is continuing in the state, and it remains unchanged whatever the political party rules J&K. What can be more shocking than discrimination between migrants who left Kashmir, and those who were forced to vacate their home and hearth due to terrorism in Jammu region. So poor was the response of the state and central governments in helping the Jammu migrants that a decade earlier a PIL was filed in the apex court that requested for equal treatment of migrants from both Kashmir and Jammu. The migrants were demanding that equal relief, and other benefits should be given to them as had suffered in similar manner and lost their home and hearth. Despite the strong demand for equal treatment, the state government has continued its policy of discrimination against migrants from Jammu region.
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Their cause was therefore taken up by the JK National Panthers Party, which strongly pleaded in the Supreme Court regarding the failure of the state government in helping the poor migrants from Jammu region who had lost their home and hearth. It was in 2009 that the apex court directed the state court to deliver the judgement in this case as it deems fit. In the same year, the J&K High Court ordered that relief be paid to around 1000 families that had suffered forced migrations in Jammu but despite the order nothing came the way of these migrants.
Majority of the migrants in Jammu region who migrated lived in higher reaches that are terror infested or in border areas which witness heavy influx of ultras from across the border. In most of the cases, the security forces had arm twisted them to leave their homes and migrate to safer areas after which they demanded compensation and relief on the lines of migrants from Kashmir. They even successfully knocked the door of High Court but the state
government has been intransigent and has refused to fulfill its commitment.
This is despite the fact that High Court quite clearly commented on negative role played by the state government. It said that while the state government is getting money under Security Related Expenditure which is borne by union government so it should have no pain in giving the arrears to the migrant families.
However, those in the know of things allege that the denial of relief to Jammu migrants reflects the anti-Jammu mindset of the successive state governments in J&K that have maintained a uniform policy of denying development and growth to this region while trying to concentrate everything in Kashmir. It is a different thing that despite this outright discrimination Jammu has been able to withstand the negative impact of this policy. Questions are also being raised as to how the state government has failed to implement the orders of Supreme Court. Lack of empathy towards it’s own subjects is also rankling the hearts of not only the migrants but also the entire populace of Jammu which is now waiting for BJP to act in favour of the its voters. It remains to be seen whether the BJP is able to deliver after making tall promises in the run up to polls.