J-K police baton charge protesting Pakistani refugees

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Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir), Apr 5 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Police on Monday baton charged thousands of irate Pakistani refugees, who were demanding citizenship in Jammu district.

Police personnel had to fire water canons and tear gas at the refugees, who were trying to move towards the State Assembly to press their demands for rehabilitation and the assurance for permanent resident certificate in the state.

Women and children also joined the protest demanding their basic rights to buy property in the state.

The refugees lamented that despite repeated appeals to the Central Government, no measures have been taken to resolve their issues.

The government of Jammu and Kashmir handed out cheques amounting to Rs 1,25,000 to more than 100 Pakistani refugee families in Poonch district.

The protests came in the wake of a series of feuds between the Central Government and the refugees, who have long been demanding citizenship rights in the state.

However, they cannot be granted citizenship under the state legislation, which bars non-permanent residents to vote in state elections, seek jobs, and even to purchase property.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had promised the community last year that the government would look into future employment opportunities, admission to professional institutions, and bank loans without the provision of a land mortgage. (ANI)

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