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Kashmiri migrants to get enhanced relief

Last Updated: Saturday, April 3, 2010 - 11:21

Jammu: Kashmiri migrants living in Jammu and its adjoining areas will get enhanced relief from the government from this month. The amount has been increased to Rs 5,000 from the existing Rs 4,000.

A communication to this effect from the Central government was received by the Jammu and Kashmir government last month, Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Raman Bhalla said on Saturday.

He said this was a part of the government`s efforts to provide better facilities to the Kashmiri migrants, who have been living outside the Valley for the past 20 years.

Initially, when the Kashmiri Pandits arrived in Jammu as migrants, they were given Rs 1,000 per family, along with free rations. The relief amount kept on increasing with the passage of time.

More than 350,000 Kashmiri Hindus had fled the Valley in 1990 after militancy peaked in Kashmir. Kashmiri Hindus were targeted on selective basis and their killings instilled a fear of growing Islamic militancy in them.

A vast majority of them left Kashmir and settled in Jammu and its adjoining areas. Currently, there are 34,000 Kashmiri Pandit families registered as migrants. They are living in migrant camps on the outskirts of Jammu city.

Bhalla said: "The government is also working to implement the prime minister`s package for the migrants. The Central government has started providing funds under the package."

In 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a Rs 1,618 crore package for the relief and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Hindus.

Under the package, the government reserved 3,000 jobs for the Kashmiri Pandit migrant youth. "The recruitment process will start soon," Bhalla said.


First Published: Saturday, April 3, 2010 - 11:21

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