Srinagar: The government has so far approved jobs to 6000 migrants Pandits to “facilitate” their return to Kashmir.
Commissioner Secretary Revenue, Mohammad Afzal Bhat said that the government approved 6000 jobs for the Kashmiris migrant Pandits under the Prime Minister Package for the return of migrant Pandits in past few years.
“3000 jobs were approved by the previous dispensation. Out of that 2400 vacancies have been filled,” Bhat said. “Now the present government has also approved 3000 more jobs. They have been referred to the recruiting agencies and the process of employment would begin soon”.
Jobs were provided to the migrant Pandits for their smooth return to Kashmir along with their families.
In the first phase, families of the 3000 employees, who have lost their house or need repairs were given transit camps located at Haal Shopian, Mattan, Sheikhpora Budgam, Kulgam and Baramulla. The transit accommodation for the migrant families was for interim period till they would have undertaken reconstruction and repair of houses.
However, almost none of the families shifted to their ancestral houses and prefer the two room apartments constructed by the governments.
“Few families have shifted to their houses, but it is true bulk of them is still staying in the apartments,” Bhat said.
Another official said that bulk of the employees were employed in education department and came to Kashmir for just six months.
“They do not want to live in Kashmir. The government tried to lure them with jobs. They happily took the job, but said no to Kashmir,” official said. “I think this policy of playing favorites will not work now. The Pandits only wan sops. They do not want Kashmir”.
Government had also reportedly sent over Rs 5800 Crore rehabilitation proposal to the central government, asking for creation of new transit camps and more compensation to the migrant families who want to return. This package also envisages that that the compensation for building a house for should be increased from 7.5 lakh Rs to 20 lakh.
Earlier Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed had said that government would be creating of separate Pandit townships in Kashmir to facilitate the return of migrant Pandts- a government move seen by people and pro-freedom leadership with suspicion who say it was ploy to set up an “Israeli type settlement” to change the dominant character of the state.