Jammu: While Kashmiri pandits, forced out of Kashmir Valley, are happy over the state
government recommending more relief for them, the victims of
militancy from hilly areas of Jammu region are feeling like
"children of a lesser God".
As per a revised package which was recommended by Jammu and
Kashmir government to the union Home Ministry Wednesday, cash
relief for Kashmiri pandit migrants has been increased to
Rs.12,000 from Rs.5,000 a month per family.
This move of the state government has led to migrants, both Hindus
and Muslims from Jammu, who were also victims of militancy,
complaining of discrimination and step-motherly treatment.
According to Koushal Sharma, President of Doda migrants
association: "There are about 5,000 families who migrated from
remote mountainous areas in Jammu region to Jammu city for safety
when militancy was at its peak there."
The areas from where they migrated include far-flung areas of Doda,
Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Ramban, Poonch and Rajouri.
Koushal told IANS that the migrants from mountainous areas in
Jammu region were initially not getting any relief unlike the
Kashmiri pandit migrants who migrated from Valley when militancy
"We were just given tents in Beli Charana (a locality on the
outskirts of Jammu) area and nothing besides that," he said.
The migrants filed a case and "it was only after the order of the
high court that we have started getting some relief", he said.
Jammu migrants are put in four categories for relief. The first
category family gets Rs.4,000 per month with ration, second
Rs.1,600 per month with ration, third just ration while fourth
only receive free water and electricity.
Mohi-ud-Din Beg, another leader of Doda migrants, said: "We fail
to understand that on what basis these categories have been made."
"We do not have as much political backing as the Kashmiri pandits,
that is why no one pays heed to our genuine grievances. Our
miseries are piling everyday. We are shocked at silence of human
rights groups on this," Beg said.
Som Nath, a migrant from Rajouri district, says: "The migrants
from hilly areas of Jammu region include both Hindus and Muslims
who are suffering due to government's step-motherly treatment
despite court's direction in our favour."
Most of these migrants have now started working as labourers in
fields, construction sites and factories.
Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation, Raman Bhalla, who is the
architect of enhanced relief and rehabilitation package of Kashmir
pandits said: "We are also working on onetime relief to migrants
of Jammu region so that they can go back to their villages and
He said the government is planning to give Rs.5,00,000 to each
family of migrants from mountainous areas of Jammu region to
"enable them to go back to their homes".
Abdul Aziz Khan, a resident of remote area in Budhal of Rajouri
district laments: "This again amounts to discrimination with us."
He points out that enhanced package envisages an amount of
Rs.20,00,000 to Kashmiri pandit migrants desirous of going back to
Valley to rebuild their damaged houses.
Bhalla responding to this said: "In case of Kashmiri pandit
migrants, it is matter of taking them back to the Valley."
Kashmiri pandit migrants, about 350,000 of whom migrated from
Kashmir Valley in 1990, majority settled on the edges of Jammu and
rest in other parts of the country.
They are getting Rs.5,000 per month as cash relief, along with
health facilities, about 6,000 jobs have been reserved for those
willing to return to Valley and a satellite township has been made
for them in Jagti (in outskirts of Jammu) where they have been
provided 4,218 flats having facilities of hospital, school, park
and community hall.
More jobs would be created for those willing to return to Valley
and age relaxation of three years will be given to job seekers in