REHABILITATION

MHA keeps up pressure on J&K govt over migrants issue

kashmiri-migrants-afp As per official figures, there are about 62,000 registered Kashmiri migrant families in the country | AFP

Keeping up the pressure on the Jammu and Kashmir government for the land for rehabilitation and resettlement of Kashmiri migrants in the Valley, the Union Home Ministry has asked the Mehbooba Mufti government to share complete details of the land identified by the state for the proposed colonies.

The move comes amidst large scale two day protests organised by the separatists against the proposed colonies.

Last week, the state government had informed the MHA that they had identified tranches of land for the rehabilitation purpose without providing specific details of the pieces of the land identified . Not satisfied with the state government's information, the home ministry has now asked for identification of plot numbers, specific locations and present status of the land before it can move forward on the proposal.

"Funds have to be released by the Centre for the purpose of rehabilitation and resettlement . It cannot be done unless specific details of the land identified by the state government are shared with the home ministry," a senior official said.

The rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants has been a controversial issue since the Bharatiya Janata Party government came to power at the Centre.

As per official figures, there are about 62,000 registered Kashmiri migrant families in the country, who migrated from the Valley in 1990s when the state was rocked by militancy in 1989. These families moved to Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country. While about 40,000 families are living in Jammu, nearly 20,000 are settled in Delhi and NCR while the remaining 2,000 families are in other parts of the country.

The BJP-PDP alliance in the state had mentioned rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants in the Valley as part of their common minimum programme. The issue is posing a major challenge for the Mehbooba Mufti government for now since the Centre has put the ball back in the court of the state government.

Amidst reeling protests over the move, home ministry sources said the opposition by separatists and even by the National Conference to the rehabilitation is misplaced as there is no proposal to set up "exclusive" townships and rather it would have a mixed population.

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