Cong holds protest, terms Rs 2000 crore package as “cruel joke” with PAK refugees
Jammu: Terming the Rs 2,000-crore development package for Displaced Persons of Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) as a "cruel joke",
the activists of Congress Party today held a strong protest demonstration at Karan Bagh Chowk, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu.
PAK refugees residing in Bhor, Chatha, Simbal, Gadigarh, Badyal Brahmana and other areas also participated in the protest and raised slogans against Prime Minister Modi saying "Narendra Modi Refugee Virodhi".
The protesters also blocked the RS Pura-Jammu road due to which the traffic also remained suspended.
The protest was organized by Sarpanch, Bhour Camp, and Congress Block President, Amrit Bali. Former minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla also joined the protest
Speaking on the occasion, Bhalla said that BJP led NDA Government has betrayed and cheated the refugees of 1947, 1965 & 1971 from PAK.
The refugees would not get more than rupees one to two lakh per family due to increase in the size of each family, Bhalla said. The refugees' organizations have already voiced their concern and rejected this amount of Rs 5.50 lakh as final and one time settlement, he said.
"The amount of relief should be released to each family in their respective tehsil headquarter as their records of allotments are available with their respective tehsils, but they are being made to run from pillar to post to trace out copies of old records after more than 70 years, which is cumbersome and expensive process," Bhalla said.
He said that the package of one time settlement of refugees of 1947, 1965 and 1971 comprising financial assistance/ex-gratia relief of Rs 25 lakhs per family amounting to over Rs 9000 crore along with several other concessions including reservation to their wards, was recommended by the previous Congress-NC coalition Government to the Centre.
He said, the BJP, which promised to ensure one time settlement of refugees besides promising citizenship to West Pakistan refugees before the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, has betrayed them.
Soon after coming to power, the Modi Government had returned the package to the state government without any reason, Bhalla added.
Terming the package as a "cruel joke" with the displaced persons, Bhalla said, the union government has undermined sanctity of the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC), which had recommended Rs 30 lakh for each refugee family of 1947 in its final report.
Vishal Charak, Sarpanch, Old Satwari , Naib Sarpanch, Kewal Krishan, Gourav Kapoor, Madam Veena Sharma , Madam Gurbachan Kour, Panch Sheru, Sudesh Sharma, Sewa Singh, Mohd Ashraf, Amir Chand and many others participated in the protest.