Several illegal occupants of apartments in neighbourhoods in Jammu built for Kashmiri Hindus have been served show-cause notices. This exercise has been undertaken to evict such squatters and accommodate genuine Kashmiri Pandits in the government-built flats, reports Hindustan Times.
Reportedly, 93 flats allocated to Kashmiri Pandits have been occupied in violation of norms. More than 300 applications are pending with the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) for allotment of accommodation to registered Kashmiri migrants families.
“We have issued a notification after we found that 93 flats have been occupied in violation of norms. It’s a beginning and we are trying to do a thing as per the law. These flats are locked out since long,” relief commissioner (migrants) TK Bhat said.
He further added that nearly 93 flats in Kashmiri migrant colonies and camps at Muthi, Nagrota, Purkhoo, and Jagti have found to be illegally occupied by persons who have not been allowed these flats.
Show cause notices have been served to such illegal occupants, who have been asked to file their response citing reasons as to why their allotments should not be cancelled. These persons have to submit their responses by March 10.
The migrants are Hindu Pandits who were forced out by Islamic terrorists from the Kashmir valley after the outbreak of terrorism in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Shadi Lal Pandita, president of the Jagti Tenement committee in Nagrota said only genuine Kashmiri Pandit families displaced due to terrorism from Kashmir should get these flats. There are many Pandit families who are dependent on cash relief for their sustenance and live in rented accommodation, he added.
Pandita said the people who had been allotted the flats do not live in them.
“Some of them have moved to Delhi, Bengaluru and other cities. Some of them have gone abroad. They have constructed their own houses and are living in them but at the same time, there are migrants living in rented accommodations and sustaining their lives on government relief. They are the deserving cases but are suffering. Genuine cases should be given the accommodation and not those having constructed their own houses,” he added.
According to Pandita, other than the 93 flats under illegal occupation, there were more than 100 other flats where people, after allotment, never occupied them. “In the past seven years, I didn’t see anyone in those flats. None came to live in them,” he added.
Pandita said migrant families that were initially allotted two-room flats comprising a room, a small lobby, a kitchen and a washroom, have also grown in size to eight to 12 members.
He added that it would be appropriate if the government allots those illegally occupied flats and the ones that were never used, to such deserving families. These are the families having old and ailing members and some among them are battling cancer, added Pandita.
Jagti Satellite Township constructed by the United Progressive Alliance government for Kashmiri Pandit migrants has 4,226 flats.
In September last year, the government ordered a re-verification of the quarters allotted to Kashmiri Pandit families living in various camps at Nagrota, Muthi, Purkhoo and Jagti. The step was taken after more than 200 flats were found locked for years together in Jagti.