Tuesday, March 23, 2010

219 Kashmiri Pandits killed in 20 yrs: Govt

Total migrated: 34202 families
None died of violence since 2004
Troopers occupy only 17 Kmr temples
Jammu, March 23: Government Tuesday disclosed that 219 Kashmiri Pandits were killed during 20 years of turmoil in the State and 34202 KP families migrated from Valley after eruption of militancy. This information was given by Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla while replying to a question posed by senior PDP leader Syed Basharat Bukhari in Assembly.“219 Kashmiri Pandits were killed in Valley since 1989 to 2004. From 2004, no member of KP community has died of militant violence in the State,” said Bhalla.He said an ex-gratia relief of one lakh rupees was disbursed among the next of kith and kin of each victim. “Besides, an amount of Rs 39, 64, 91, 838 has been paid as compensation to the Kashmiri Pandits on account of damage to their properties since the eruption of militancy in the State,” the minister said.Bhalla said a total of 38119 families comprising 104242 souls migrated from Kashmir after eruption of militancy and are registered with Revenue department. “Of the 38119 registered migrant families, 2168 are Muslim families, 1749 - Sikh families and 34202 are Kashmiri Pandit families,” he said.Informing the House that 808 KP families comprising 3445 souls are still living in the Valley, he said, “These families have never migrated”.The minister further said that Rs. 71.95 crores were spent by government in providing relief and other facilities to Kashmiri migrants living in Jammu and other parts in 2007-08, Rs 70.33 crores in 2008-09 and Rs 68.59 crores from 2009 up to January, 2010.About return and rehabilitation of KPs, Balla said, “A committee headed by M L Koul, the then Finance Commissioner Planning and Development department, was formed to prepare an action plan for return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants. In its report submitted to government in 1997-98, the committee had recommended a package of Rs. 2799.11 crores for return of the migrants”.“No action was taken at that time because situation was not conducive for their return. However, with the improvement in the situation, government decided to construct 200 flats at an estimated cost of Rs 22.90 crores at Sheikhpora Budgam in 2004. The construction of 120 flats has been completed and possession of 60 of them has been taken by the department and inspection of other 60 is going on. The construction of remaining 80 flats shall be completed during 2010. Besides, 18 flats have also been constructed through J&K Housing Board at Mattan Islamabad,” the minister informed the House.He said a special package of Rs. 1618.40 crore has been sanctioned by the Government of India for return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants. “Under this scheme, 3000 supernumerary posts have been created, exclusively for migrants, willing to return to Kashmir. These posts have already been referred to recruiting agencies and process for selection of these posts is on”.Bhalla, however, said despite all these rehabilitation packages not a single Kashmiri migrant has returned to Valley.The Revenue minister said 17 temples in Kashmir are under the occupation of troopers.

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