Refugees celebrate Republic Day amid protests in Jammu

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Jammu, Jan 26 (UNI) All Jammu and Kashmir Refugees Front today celebrated Republic Day here amid protests against the state government for paying no heed to their long pending demands.

After unfurling the tri-colour, the West Pakistani Refugees displaced from POK, gathered under one roof and shouted anti-government slogans demanding among others, right to occupy the evacuee land, enhancement of relief, compensation, allotment of agricultural land.

The refugees of 1947, 1965 and 1971, who have been long fighting for their rights, appealed to the state government for early redressal to their problem.

All Jammu and Kashmir Refugees Front President Rachpal Singh said, a ''Wadhwa Committee'' was constituted to look into the demands of the refugees and a report was submitted to the government on November 29, 2007, which was later forwarded to Home Minister Shiv Raj Patil by Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

''Despite submission of the report, there is no response from the state and the central governments,'' Mr Singh told UNI, adding, their demands included allotment of agricultural land to the refugees of 1965 and 1971 at par with that of 1947, exemption of rents from the refugees, who have been allotted custodian accommodations.

''Allotment of 24 seats in Legislative Assembly to POK refugees, citizenship rights to West Pakistan Refugees, special package under centrally sponsored schemes, domicile certificates are some of the demands of the displaced refugees,'' Mr Singh said.


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