A Jammu court will on Tuesday hear a plea filed by a group of Kashmiri Pandits seeking immediate release of their monthly relief amount, PTI reported.
The case will come up for hearing amid protests by Kashmiri Pandits against delay in payment of the relief amount.
The protests began on Saturday, when Kashmiri Pandits living in the Jagti migrant camp on the outskirts of Jammu, shouted slogans demanding the immediate release of relief payment for the month of August. Protesters also tried to block the Jammu-Srinagar national highway but were stopped by the police.
They said that this was the first time in the past three decades that there was a delay in the release of the monthly relief.
In the early 1990s, when militancy erupted in Jammu and Kashmir, it led to a massive exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley to Jammu. Most estimates say that 76,000 families left Kashmir then.
In 1990, the Jammu and Kashmir government launched a policy to provide relief in the form of cash and free rations to Kashmiri Pandits. The relief amount has been raised over time. Currently, each family receives Rs 13,000 every month.
The amount is now provided by the Centre as Jammu and Kashmir became a Union Territory after the its special status under Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated on August 5, 2019.
The plea has been filed by Panun Kashmir – an organisation that seeks to protect rights of Kashmiri Pandits.
In its plea, the organisation said that families that solely depend on the relief amount, have been unable to buy household goods. The government’s failure to provide the amount has forced the families to agitate on the streets amid the coronavirus pandemic, the plea stated, according to PTI.
“We have full faith in the court and judiciary and it will come to our relief,” Panun Kashmir Chairman Ajay Chrungoo said.
Meanwhile, National Conference leader Anil Dhar on Monday urged Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to help expedite payments to Kashmiri Pandit families, according to India Today.
“Monthly cash assistance is the only source of sustenance for many displaced Kashmiri Pandit families and how can the concerned agency be so callous by not understanding and appreciating this fact,” Dhar said.