Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has retrieved 2414 kanal of land owned by Kashmiri Pandit migrants that had been encroached upon or were the subject of a distress sale in Kashmir.
“Last year, the Jammu and Kashmir Displaced Immovable Property Act, approved in 1997, went into force, bringing justice to Kashmiri Pandits and other displaced populations who suffered the brunt of the displacement. After receiving 8000 complaints, 2414 kanal of land was reclaimed from illegal encroachment by acting on 6500 of them, giving justice to these 6500 people after three decades,” a top government official said.
In 1997, the then government passed legislation to protect migrant properties in Kashmir against encroachment and distress sales.
“However, successive governments did little to protect the property of migrant homeowners or restore the encroached area,” the official said.
According to official sources, the present administration led by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has created a website where Kashmiri migrants living anywhere in J&K, across the country, or even abroad could make complaints.
Of the 8000 complaints submitted, the government has already handled 6500.
According to sources, a decision on the remaining 1500 complaints would be made soon.
“The Centre and the J&K government have been examining the welfare measures for Kashmiri Pandit migrants regularly, and whatever is required for their welfare will be done,” they said.
In 2021, the Jammu and Kashmir authorities launched a web portal allowing Kashmiri Pandits to reclaim their abandoned properties.
“The administration decided to assure the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in J&K. Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee their homes in the former state, which were then encroached upon or sold at rock-bottom prices,” the officials said.
They said that in addition Deputy Commissioners (DCs) would now ensure that there is no illegal encroachment, even if no complaint had been registered.
Meanwhile, the owners who left would need to register on the portal and mention the location of their property and the year they left.
In addition, they have also been asked to mention if anyone had encroached on their property.