REASI, Jan 21: Cautioning against the increasing number of illegal foreign settlers in the State, particularly in and around Jammu, Union Minister of State in PMO with Independent charge of North Eastern States, Dr Jitendra Singh has cautioned against risking the demographic profile of the region.
Addressing a series of programmes during his one-day visit here and earlier talking to the reporters, Dr Singh said it is matter of investigation that how these people came here from Bangaldesh and Myanmar bordering North East and which agencies have brought them here as they have crossed all States and reached Jammu.
Demanding a thorough probe into the matter, he said, it is to be ascertained that whether there was a conspiracy behind their settlement in Jammu and which agency is supporting them. He also took a dig at Kashmir centric political parties which are maintaining a stoic silence on the issue. Dr Singh said this exposed their political expediency and opportunism.
Questioning the credentials of the activists and political leaders who oppose the issuance of Identity Certificates to West Pakistan refugees, Dr Singh said, these opportunist enthusiasts are playing a dangerous game by being soft towards illegal foreign settlers from Bangladesh, Myanmar, etc. who are clandestinely seeking to procure Aadhaar cards and possibly even the Voter cards.
He said, the West Pakistan refugees are Indian nationals who preferred to settle down and serve the State of Jammu & Kashmir at a critical time when their services were solicited. “Now, 70 years later, even if we follow Maharaja Hari Singh’s State Subject Law of 1927, they are eligible to claim citizenship”, he asserted.
Dr Singh warned that on the other hand, the foreign nationals, illegally settled in Jammu & Kashmir in recent years, enjoy no legal or legitimate status and can also prove to be a security threat.
Dr Jitendra Singh called for preparing a list of all the foreign nationals settled in the State and to find out the exact genesis and reasons for their having travelled all the way from the countries along India’s Eastern and North-Eastern borders to settle down in the distant Northern-most State of Jammu & Kashmir. “Is this so because they find certain special convenience in doing so or find it easier to evade the law applicable to foreign nationals in other States, but possibly not strictly applied in J&K, notwithstanding its socalled exclusive special status, he asked?”.
The Union Minister said the other question that arises is, whether the State Subject law in J&K is being implemented selectively depending upon political expediency.
Dr Singh while highlighting the achievements of Narendra Modi Government said in the last over two and a half years, the Modi Government has addressed the concerns of even those sections of population in the State who were hitherto either neglected or discriminated against.
Citing an instance, he said, people from hilly areas of Reasi district, who had migrated down to safer zones and were put up in Talwara Camp, had been receiving stipend which was nearly four times less than that received by the displaced Kashmiri migrants. It was with the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Union Cabinet approved the proposal to raise the stipend of the Talwara Camp migrants to bring it at par with that of the Kashmiri migrants, he added.
During his visit, Dr Jitendra Singh dedicated to public, the updated modern Dental section funded from his MPLAD at District Hospital, Reasi. Later, he also attended a function organized by Government Higher Secondary School, Reasi where the upgradation work was undertaken through funds arranged by him. He also inaugurated a road, 20 kilometers from Reasi towards Than Pal at Dhyangarh constructed through funds arranged through CSR and other sources with the help of NHPC.
Giving a detail of the various development works undertaken by him through MPLAD and other sources, Dr Jitendra Singh said, for the first time, the Central Government has allocated Rs. 3600 crore for construction of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) roads in the State, out of which, the major share is going to be spent in the Udhampur-Kathua-Doda Lok Sabha Constituency. He said, while the Reasi district alone has been allocated over Rs. 160 crore for construction of 27 PMGSY roads measuring up to a length of 211.75 kms, the Kathua district has received over Rs. 405 crore for PMGSY with a total of Rs. 851 crore for construction of roads and buildings, the Udhampur district has received over Rs. 350 crore and the erstwhile Doda district has been allocated over Rs. 600 crore under PMGSY.
Dr Jitendra Singh also referred to the “War Memorial Recreation Park” set up last year near the office of Deputy Commissioner Reasi to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of 1965 Indo-Pak war and a special Vijayanta Tank, which fought the 1965 war, was procured through Defence authorities from New Delhi to be installed in this Park. He also mentioned construction of 11 hutments accomplished so far, from funds raised by him, for flood victims in Seri Chanda Panchayat.
Dr Jitendra Singh also referred to the country’s highest railway bridge constructed in the area and said, it was only after the intervention of the Central Government that issues relating to alignment of the rail track were resolved to the satisfaction of the local people.
Later talking to mediapersons at the side lines of functions, Dr Singh said establishing of KV in Reasi is in pipeline and it was he who took up the issue with HRD Ministry.
At that time it was said that only one KV can be sanctioned for one district but later it was only on his intervention that the KV functioning in Talwara has been established for the children of NHPC employees and it was not for the Reasi district. Another KV has been sanctioned and the authorities are on job to identify the land for the same.
MoS Finance Ajay Nanda, BJP district president Kuldip Dubey and senior officials of NHPC also accompanied the Union Minister during his visit.
In his address, Nanda said that Government of India has cleared the construction of Sawlakote Project after the persuasion of Dr Singh. Its construction besides boosting power generation will also help in creating employment avenues for the youth.