POJK refugees demand distribution of settlement package, slam Article 370

  • HT Coresspondent, Hindustan Times, Jammu
  • Updated: Jun 17, 2014 18:35 IST

Reiterating their demand for a one-time settlement, members of Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) Refugee Front staged a protest on Tuesday and slammed both the Congress and the National Conference (NC) for failing to concede to their demands.

In a protest rally led by president Rachhpal Singh Chib, the refugees accused the government of discriminating against the families displaced from Mirpur, Bhimber, Deva, Watala, Chhamb, Nah, Manawar, Kotli, Muzaffarabad, Palandari, Poonch and Baagh regions of the state during the Indo-Pak wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971.

Refugees raised slogans against the Congress and the NC, accusing them of stalling the distribution of settlement packages.

Addressing the gathering, Chib said that the department-related parliamentary standing committee instructed the state government to submit a draft of the comprehensive settlement package in November last year, following which the State did so.

But, he alleged, the Omar Abdullah- government, supported by the Congress, again referred the draft package to a state sub-committee for recommendations.

"Obliviously, it was well-planned for negating the recommendations of the Home Ministry," accused Chib.

"We have taught the Congress a lesson by ensuring its defeat in the recently-held parliamentary elections. If both the Congress and the NC do not mend their ways, they will face a similar fate in the upcoming assembly elections," warned Chib.

He further condemned Article 370, which ensures special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir, deeming it the reason for the Centre not being able to act directly in the matter.

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