Rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrant pandits in valley maybe on cards, hints LG

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Jammu, Mar 25 (PTI) Hinting that a proper rehabilitation plan for migrant Kashmiri Pandits maybe in the pipeline, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday said a lot has been thought about the community and soon 'something is going to happen which you have not even imagined'.

He also said 8,000 underground bunkers have been completed along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) for the safety of border residents and 1,200 more such structures will be constructed during the next financial year.

'We are also talking about 6,000 jobs and an equal number of residential accommodation for migrant Kashmiri Pandits in the valley. This is a minute part of rehabilitation of the community in the valley,' Sinha told reporters here.

Responding to a question about linking prime minister's employment package with the overall rehabilitation of Pandits living in exile in the valley, he said rehabilitation is a different thing altogether.

'These 6,000 jobs for the community were notified earlier but the (recruitment) process got delayed due to various reasons. This is a minute part of the rehabilitation of the community. Our first priority was to complete the process as soon as possible and it has now reached the final stage,' he said.

Sinha said it is not the final package for the community and the government is doing more for them in the near future. 'A lot has been thought about the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits which I do not want to make public today. Shortly, you will get information that something is going to happen which you have not even imagined,' he said.

Asked about a clause in the contract of Pandit employees that they have to leave their residential quarters on retirement, he said, 'I have taken note of it and this will be looked into.' On the welfare measures proposed for border residents who have suffered immensely due to Pakistani shelling over the years, the Lt Governor said 8,000 underground bunkers have been constructed so far for their safety, while 1,200 more such structures are being built during the next financial year.

'There is a provision in the budget for them as well. And if there is a need, more will be done for them,' he said.

Fortunately, he said, the shelling by Pakistan has stopped now. PTI TAS AB AAR AAR