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JKAP demands fresh registration of KPs for domicile purposes

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Jammu: The JKAP on Friday expressed regret that the provision of domicile does not include such Kashmiri migrants who were registered outside Jammu and Kashmir in other states and union territories, and sought fresh registration of Kashmiri Pandits.

The Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) stressed the need for evolving a robust mechanism to protect the interests of all segments of people, including Kashmiri Pandits, in the wake of the introduction of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order 2020, which defines the domiciles in the union territory.

“This can be ensured by undertaking fresh registration of the left out Kashmiri Pandits for domicile purposes since the new rules recognize only such migrants, who are registered as ones by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner,” the JAP senior leader and former legislator Vijay Bakaya said in a statement here.

He rued that the provision does not include migrants who were registered outside Jammu and Kashmir in various other states and Union Territories across the country.

He said the new rules have instilled a “sense of deprivation among a vast number of Kashmiri Pandits, integral to Kashmir’s glorious ethos, who were unfortunately compelled by circumstances to leave the Valley, not by choice”.

“Besides, a large segment of Kashmiri Pandits had spread in various parts of the country prior to 1990 migration in pursuit of their careers but continued to be the part of larger Kashmiri family,” he added.

Hitherto fore, they were entitled to be permanent residents notwithstanding their physical location outside the Valley, Bakaya said, adding such residents were covered by the law, introduced in 1954, which empowered successive state governments to define “permanent residents” of Jammu and Kashmir and reserve for them certain rights and privileges.

“This mechanism of permanent resident covered all those who were state subjects of Jammu and Kashmir in 1954 and their descendants,” he said, adding these also included those who had lived and owned land in Jammu and Kashmir for at least 10 years in 1954.

Referring to the new rules, introduced in terms of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order 2020, the JKAP senior leader said now only those who have resided for a period of 15 years in J&K or have studied for a period of seven years and appeared in class 10 and 12 examination in an educational institution located in the UT are eligible for the domicile rights.

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