Friday, January 20, 2012

PoK refugees organize protest rally

The refugees of 1947, 1965 and 1971 from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) areas today organized a large protest rally against the Government at Mubarak Mandi here today.

A large number of displaced families from Mirpur, Bhimber, Deva, Batala, Manawar, Poonch, Kotli, Bagh and Muzaffrabad assembled under the banner of PoK Refugees Front (1947, 65,71) at Mubarak Mandi complex here today and held a strong protest demonstration.

Under the leadership of Front president Capt Yudhvir Singh and general secretary Rashpal Singh Chib, these refugees including men and women, carrying banners and placards in their hands were shouting slogans against the Government. They criticized the Government for ignoring them for the last many decades.

The Front leaders also addressed the gathering and flayed Government of its anti-refugee stance. Mr Chib in his address demanded that the left over refugee families of 1947 and 1971 be registered and justice be provided to them. He also demanded ownership rights of properties (houses/ land) be given to the refugees as they are facing lot of hardships. The refugees placed in the border areas of Jammu region are unable to get rent and other claims from security forces/ army etc. as they do not have the ownership rights of the land being used by the forces. These families are facing lot of hardships.

Mr Chib pointed out that during 2000, the Centre had sanctioned ` 5 crore in favour of refugees. Out of this money, funds to the tune of ` 4 crore were disbursed. The remaining money should also be disbursed among the refugees. He urged the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Revenue and Relief Minister Raman Bhalla to provide justice to the refugees. After staging daylong protest dharna, the refugees dispersed peacefully at around 3.30 pm.

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