Refugees stage protest, over 200 court arrest

Excelsior Correspondent

PoK refugees courting arrest at Panjtirthi in Jammu on Friday.

JAMMU, Oct 5:  Refugees from Chhamb, Deva-Batala, Manawar, Bhimber Kotli,  Mirpur, Bagh, Muzaffarabad and others areas of PoK today held strong protest demonstration and courted arrest here today.
A large number of PoK refugees led by by Capt (Retd) Yudhvir Singh and Rashpal Singh Chib assembled  at  Mubarak Mandi, under the banner of PoK Refugees Front 1947,1965, 1971 and then marched towards Radio Station Chowk. Accompanied by a large number of women activists, they were carrying placards and banners in their hands.
Shouting loud slogans against the Central and State Governments, they took out a protest rally. They were also raising their demands during protest march. Several refugee leaders then addressed the gathering and criticized Government for only lip sympathy. They alleged that Congress was only playing dirty politics with the innocent refugees for the last more than five decades and nothing concrete has come out so far. They said delegation of PCC led by Soz to Delhi also seems to have drama enacted by State leadership here. If they are so serious in providing justice to refugees, they should implement Wadhwa Committee report.
These leaders criticised Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla for his claims that Rs 47 crore has been sanctioned by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for refugees while the hard truth is that this money was sanctioned by former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee Government on August 9, 2000 vide letter No. 33(2) 97/ Settlement 9 Vol (IV) dated 9-8-2000. It is unfotunate that Prof Soz has no knowledge about Wadhwa Committee report and its recommendation. Refugees have doubt in the intentions of Prof Soz as he now claims that refugees issue can be solved only with consensus with all political parties of the State who otherwise, never supported refugees cause in last 60 years.
Mr Chib said many reports have come earlier but all were thrown in dustbin. The fate of new committee if framed will also meet the same fate. Congress is only buying time and nothing is going to happen. He appealed all the groups of refugees to get united at one platform and launch collective struggle.
Later, near 200 refugees offered court arrests and they were taken to District Police Lines in police buses and released in the afternoon.

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