Plight of West Pak refugees a glaring example of ‘misuse’ of Article 370

Margashirsha Shuklapaksha 12, Kaliyug Varsha 5115


Jammu : With BJP’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi triggering a debate over the Article 370, the political and social organisations here today highlighted the plight of West Pakistani refugees to expose how the “special status” was being “abused by the ruling class” of Jammu and Kashmir to deprive deserving people of their constitutional rights.

The West Pakistani refugees have been denied citizenship rights because of the special status accorded to the state under the Article 370 and social and political groups seized the opportunity on the World Human Right day today to highlight their grievances.

“When we observe the World Human Right day we have to highlight the plight of West Pakistani refugees, who are a glaring example of the worst ever human rights violation,” BJP state president Jugal Kishore Sharma said.

“It is very unfortunate that successive state governments have been taking the excuse of special status to deny constitutional rights to West Pakistani refugees,” Jugal said.

Emphasising the abuse of the Article 370 in the state, Dr Gopal Parthasarthi Sharma, eminent writer and convener of the Peoples’ Opinion Forum, said: “In Jammu and Kashmir West Pakistani refugees are glaring example of how the special status is being brazenly abused to deprive three generations of a hapless community of their basic constitutional rights.”

“It is the duty of every right-thinking citizen to highlight the plight of these poor refugees on the occasion of the World Human Right day,” Sharma insisted.

Rajiv Verma, of the Association of Weaker sections and Minorities (AWAW), said: “The 1927 State Subject laws were incorporated in Section 6 of the J&K Constitution, so it is clear that West Pakistani refugees have been denied constitutional rights all due to special status.”

At the time of partition in 1947, a large number of refugees from West Pakistan moved to Jammu and Kashmir.

While those who shifted to other parts of the country are enjoying all constitutional rights, those living in Jammu and Kashmir have been deprived of even the basic rights.

After six decades of independence these people don’t have the voting rights to the J&K Legislative Assembly, no citizenship right, no ration card, no permanent resident certificate, as a result they can not apply for government jobs, neither can they purchase land in Jammu and Kashmir.

Even their children can not pursue higher studies, as they don’t possess the permanent resident certificate.

Source : Tribune India

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