Refugees take out protest rally, 200 courted arrest

Excelsior Correspondent

PoK refugees taking out protest rally in Jammu on Monday.
PoK refugees taking out protest rally in Jammu on Monday.

JAMMU, Apr 16: The PoK refugees from Chhamb, Deva Batala, Bhimber, Mirpur, Kotli and Muzaffrabad held massive protest demonstration at Maheshpura Chowk and then took out a rally here today.
A large number of refugees including men and women, under the banner of J&K Refugees Front -1947, 65 and 71 assembled at Maheshpura Chowk here today and held demonstration. They were carrying banners and placards depicting their demands. Under the leadership of Capt Yudhveer Singh (president) and general secretary Rashpal Singh Chib, about 300 members of refugee families staged protest demonstration for about an hour at the busy Maheshpura Chowk, and then moved towards the Bakshinagar police station in the form of a rally to offer court arrest.
They were shouting slogans in support of their demands. Both the leaders addressed the gathering and alleged that despite assurance by the Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla and others, nothing could be done for the refugees. Mr Bhalla had also submitted a memorandum to the visiting Prime Minister on March 4, 2011. They demanded a comprehensive package for refugees’ settlement once for all and reservation for their children in jobs and educational/ technical institutions. They said that their agitation would go on till their demands are met with.
These leaders expressed serious concern over the silence of the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on this issue. They alleged that various political parties only exploited these people and nobody has shown real concern for them.
The refugees after reaching at the police station sat on dharna for some time to offer court arrest. Mr Chib claimed that nearly 200 refugee members courted arrest at Bakshinagar police station. A police officials however, denied any such arrest and claimed that after staging protest dharna at the police station for some time, they dispersed.