PoK refugees observe Martyrs’ Day

Excelsior Correspondent

PoK refugees during a rally organised on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day at Jammu on Sunday. -Excelsior/ Rakesh

JAMMU, Nov 24: Hundreds of refugees who fled Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) due to Indo-Pak wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971 today observed Martyrs’ Day in memory of their family members killed during fights with tribals and Pakistani Army in November 1947.
The refugees held a huge rally this morning at Maheshpura Chowk Netaji Park in Bakshi Nagar area of the city.
President, Jammu and Kashmir PoJK Refugee Front, Rachpal Singh Chib claimed that about 18,000 men, women and children of Mirpur, Kotli Bhimber, Palandri, Chhamb, Deva, Watala, Manawar and Nah areas were killed during attacks by tribals (Qabailies) and Pakistani Army in 1947, as Sheikh Abdullah, the appointed PM didn’t request India to send Indian Army for the defence of these areas.
“Those who escaped the mayhem could reach safer places. As many as 31,619 families were kept in the camps established by the State and Central Governments,” he said, adding that about 10,000 families couldn’t join the camps and 5,500 families fled to other states. Thousands of families still remain unregistered, he claimed.
Chib alleged that these families were given a step motherly treatment by the State Government. The PoK Refugees Front started its agitation in favour of settlement of all the refugees in 2004 and the agitation continues, he said.
“We have put forth all our demands and problems to the Centre during our previous meetings,” Front president said, adding that the measures taken by the State Government were not enough to address their problems.

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