Other States

Gorkhas, west Pakistan refugees granted domicile certificates in J&K

An elderly Kashmiri man shows his domicile document, in Srinagar. Photo used for representation purpose only. File.

An elderly Kashmiri man shows his domicile document, in Srinagar. Photo used for representation purpose only. File.   | Photo Credit: AP

50 certificates distributed at a special camp in first such exercise

In a first, the Jammu & Kashmir administration on Saturday kick-started a special exercise to distribute domicile certificates among west Pakistan refugees, Balmiki Samaj members, and Gorkhas, who were denied the same due to J&K’s special status till last year.

A government spokesperson said more than 50 domicile certificates were distributed by the Divisional Commissioner-Jammu Sanjeev Verma in a special camp organised for the purpose on Saturday.

Also read | J&K notifies amended domicile certificate rules

‘Deprived of rights’

“The recipients of the domicile certificates included those sections of society who were residing in J&K for the last more than 70 years but were deprived of their legitimate citizenship rights,” the spokesperson said.

Certificates were distributed in R. S. Pura, Bishnah, Bahu, Jammu south, and several other parts of Jammu.

Also read | Non-local IAS officer from Bihar gets domicile certificate in Jammu & Kashmir

“The distribution of domicile certificates was a long-pending demand of the public. People who were living in Jammu and Kashmir for many years but were deprived of citizenship rights now have equal rights as other citizens of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mr. Verma said.

Over 25,000 domicile certificates have been distributed in J&K under the new law brought after the abrogation of J&K’s special status last year.

Under the domicile rules, all those persons and their children who have resided for 15 years in Jammu and Kashmir, or have studied for seven years and appeared in the Class X or Class XII examination in an educational institution in the UT, are eligible for grant of domicile.

J&K’s Article 370 and Article 35A barred non-locals and outsiders from seeking residency here. Domicile certificates are mandatory for buying land, applying for jobs, and in educational institutes in J&K.

Several regional parties, including the National Conference, the Peoples Democratic Party, the People’s Conference, and the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement have objected to the government’s move in this matter.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 11:05:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gorkhas-west-pak-refugees-granted-domicile-certificates-in-jk/article31934858.ece

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