With the view to address the grievances of the Kashmiri migrants, an online grievance redressal portal has been activated by the government of Jammu and Kashmir, which will deal with issues and concerns related to the land and properties of the migrants. The migrants here are referred to as Hindus who were forced to leave the valley in the 90s due to security concerns. ‘Relief & Rehabilitation (M)’ (www.jkmigrantrelief.nic.in) is the official website which will deal with the subject matter of the grievances that ranges from correction of encroachments, trespassing and alienation by way of fraud or distress, etc.
*Migration Properties related grievances*
The form on the website that goes by the name of J&K Migrant Immovable Property (Preservation, Protection, and Restraint on distress sale) Act,1997, offers safe and secured custody of the immovable properties of the migrants of J&K. The form came with the instructions, “Notwithstanding in case any migrant wishes to bring an issue or concern related to his/her immovable property to the notice of the Government, he/she may fill details in the below-provided form. The information so provided shall be shared by the Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction with the department of Revenue for necessary action for resolution of the grievance in a fixed time frame.”
The form consists of different sections, where the applicant is required to fill in his/her personal details. After submission of the form, the applicant-migrant will be contacted by the concerned District Magistrate.
It is to be noted that within 24 hours of the launch of the website, 15 grievances applications have been received. According to a report by the relief office set up in 1990 by the Jammu & Kashmir government, there are around 44,167 officially registered Kashmiri migrant families, out of which, around 39,782 are Hindu migrant families.
Relief Portal: An overview
The Jammu & Kashmir government on Friday, i.e 20th August, issued an order for the preservation and protection of properties and immovable assets of displaced Kashmiri Pandits.
Principal Secretary (Revenue Department) Shaleen Kabra said in an order stated that the competent authority (district magistrates) shall undertake survey or field verification of migrant properties and update all registers within a period of 15 days and submit compliance reports to the divisional commissioner, Kashmir.
It is pertinent to note that Jammu & Kashmir is the first Union Territory in the country to have district-level grievance offices with the central grievance portal to ensure prompt action. The grievance office has been integrated with the Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) portal.
Further, the government on August 11, 2021, also informed that people coming back to the valley after the abrogation of Article 370, can approach District Magistrates to remove encroachment on their properties. In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, the Minister of State Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai, had said: “Under the J&K Migrant Immovable Property Act, 1997, DMs of concerned districts are the legal custodians of the immovable properties of migrants, who take suo moto action on eviction proceedings in cases of encroachment.”