PoK refugees up in arms against Resettlement Act
20 November 2001
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: SOS, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) working for the rights of PoK refugees is up in arms against the implementation of Re- settlement Act of 1982 which it said will pose a great threat to the unity and integrity of the country. Briefing newsmen here this morning, Mr Rajiv Chuni, chairman of the organisation said the PoK refugees outrightly oppose the act, the implementation of which will be fraught with serious consequences. Challenging the Act he said, the State Government never thought during last 54 years of independence to enforce any such act for the benefit of PoK or Pak refugees and warned that implementation of the act will invite trouble and create a law and order problem. Rajiv Chuni said PoK refugees have given lot of sacrifice in 1947 and 50,000 people belonging to a particular community were killed during the riots . ''We migrated to this side with great hope at that time which has completely dashed to ground since the framing of this controversial act'', he added. He alleged that there is a big conspiracy behind the passing of this act which is totally based on communal lines. The former Chief Minister late Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah’s aim was to turn the J&K a Muslim dominated State by introducing this controversial bill he added. And what could the late Sheikh Abdullah not achieve in seven years was done by Dr Farooq Abdullah in four or five months after getting this Act passed in State Legislature, he said, adding even the then Governor was pressurised to give his assent to the bill, he added. Mr Chuni warned that if this act is implemented in the state then there will be no place for Hindus and Sikhs and the only alternative left for them is to migrate from here . He said had the Government been sincere such bills were needed for the resettlement of the people who came from West Pakistan. He warned to challenge the Bill in the Apex Court to thwart the State Government’s designs to convert the Jammu and Kashmir into a Muslim State. There is no fun of making the act as the people who migrated to Pakistan during 1947 did it on their own accord and they did not like to live with India. He said after bringing the Bill Farooq Abdullah wants to convey that he is pro Muslim and anti Hindu. He warned that the PoK refugees will not hesitate from any sacrifice to prevent the implementation of the Act. He while seeking the intervention of Union Government in the matter asked the State Government not to create such controversies at this juncture as this will create a lot of confusion among the masses. Making a dig at the Central Government for its lapses he said had it taken the timely action there would have been no controversy as present. The State Government hoodwinked the opposition members and turned down the objections raised by them, said Mr Ram Lal Sharma an old refugee leader. He while quoting the former MLA, H L Bargotra said the MLA had written to Government regarding the drawbacks of the Bill but to no avail. He said no steps are being taken to restore our property which is lying in PoK while the State Government is going to restore the property rights to the people settled in PoK. He said by bringing the bill Farooq was given the advantage to dominate the J&K politics and now it is the another ploy of ruling Party to bring Omar Abdullah forward in State politics by raising the issue, said Mr Chuni. He warned that the refugees who have settled on evacuees property will not leave upto their last breath. Opposing the Government policy he said on one breath the Government is talking about the conversion of Line of Actual Control (LAC) into International Border and on the other it is talking of resettlement of people who have migrated to Pakistan. Terming it a criminal conspiracy to dislodge the refugees of 1947, Mr Y K Gupta warned that the Islamisation policy of State Government will be fought tooth and nail. ''We will shed blood and not leave the evacuees property'', he said, adding there will be blood shed like 1947 if Government shows any seriousness of implementing the act.