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SC orders inspection of J&K refugee camps

SC orders inspection of J&K refugee camps

Author: Our Legal Correspondent
Publication: The Hindu
Date: May 7, 2002

The Supreme Court today directed the Union Home Ministry to inspect the refugee camps in Jammu and Kashmir and file a report on the conditions prevailing there.

A three-Judge Bench comprising the Chief Justice B.N. Kirpal, Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice H.K. Sema gave the direction when the National Panthers Party chief, Bhim Singh, furnished a list of camps in the State which were in a pathetic condition and which needed immediate attention.

The petitioner has submitted to the court the plight of migrants of from border areas of Jammu region who had left their homes due to terrorism and shelling from Pakistan.

The Bench observed, "just because no noise is made about their grievances, no relief is being given to them,'' and asked the Centre the steps it proposed to rehabilitate 2.50 lakh migrants from the valley and 78,000 from the Jammu region.

The Bench said, "the team of the Home Ministry shall visit each and every camp where the migrants/refugees are staying and submit a detailed report''.

"Everyone in India who is a refugee in his own country is entitled to the same relief. Let us make it very clear- the relief package has to be the same irrespective of their state of origin,'' the Bench said.

The Bench told the Centre that "there is a lot of demographic change in the State. What have you done to rehabilitate your own citizens. We expect Jammu and Kashmir to be as much part of India as other States''. The Bench posted the matter for further hearing after 12 weeks.

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