Talwara migrants allege step motherly treatment with militancy victims of Jammu

A view of migrant camp at Talwara in Reasi district.
A view of migrant camp at Talwara in Reasi district.

Awaiting ‘Kashmir Files’ on their plights

Nishikant Khajuria

JAMMU, Mar 27: As the Bollywood movie ‘Kashmir Files’ invites worldwide attention towards alleged brutalities committed on Kashmiri Pandits and consequent exodus of the community from the Valley three decades ago, militancy victims of Jammu region, who are still living in miserable conditions at migrant camp in Talwara area of Reasi, rued step motherly treatment of the successive Governments towards their plights.

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Recalling the horrible massacres of innocent villagers at Prankot-Dhakikot, Thub, Morha Salui, Kantha, Galyot and other areas of Jammu region, which forced them to flee from their homes and hearth, these migrants utterly complained that there was no one to listen to their grievances.
These Jammu migrants alleged that neither the successive State Governments nor the Centre paid any attention towards their miseries with the result they are still living in hellish conditions at shabby Talwara migrant camp for the last more than two decades.
“Kashmir Files’ has brought into light the atrocities committed on Kashmiri Pandits and their consequent migration from the Valley, but there is no one to listen to the tale of militancy victims of Jammu region, who were similarly forced to flee from their homes by the same terrorists,” said Jagdev Singh of Prankot, a migrant putting up in Talwara camp near Reasi town.
Narrating their hardships in the dilapidated camp, one Tunna Devi, whose mother was among the slain victims of Prankot massacre, said that they were living in miserable conditions in the migrant camp. “Rain water enters into the room, which has developed cracks and it becomes extremely difficult to manage by shifting our goods from one corner to another,” she said, adding that they were living happily before migration from the native village.
Patti Ram, another migrant at Talwara camp, alleged that the successive Governments treated them like animals and never gave a sympathetic consideration to their concerns. “Are we not human beings? If the Government can construct residential quarters for Kashmiri migrants in Jammu and give employment packages to the community, why not the same facilities are extended for Jammu migrants who have equally suffered because of militancy,” he asked.
These people lamented that despite the Supreme Court ruling to treat these 2221 Jammu migrant families at par with Kashmiri migrants, the Governments in the Union Territory as well as in the Centre, were still giving them a step motherly treatment for the reasons best know to those at the helm of affairs.
Listing their demands, these Jammu migrants from Prankote, Narkote, Takikote and other areas of Reasi district, also sought registration of the members of their extended families. According to them, the Government authorities have registered around 400 migrant families at Talwara whereas the number of such families has increased in the last two decades. However, they added, the newly added family members of Jammu migrants are not being registered by the authorities unlike in the case of Kashmiri migrants.
Living in pathetic conditions and facing callous attitude of the Government, these Jammu migrants are apparently waiting for a `Kashmir Files’ like movie on their plights so that cries of these militancy victims may reach the deaf ears of those occupying seat of power.