A day after Jammu Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JCCI) threatened to ‘identify, catch and kill’ Rohingyas living as refugees in Jammu, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (INC) has made it clear that any actions against them would lead to dire consequences. The Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti already has assured action against JCCI leaders for issuing threats against Rohingyas who are settling down in Jammu.
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Inc) in a statement yesterday said that it strongly condemns the statement made by the President of Jammu Chamber of Commerce & Industry wherein it threatened to identify, catch and kill Rohingyas in Jammu.
The KCCI termed the statement as uncalled for, irresponsible, and divisive. It further warned that the same could be applicable to the West Pakistan Refugees as well who came to India during the partition and have not been given citizenship at the behest of separatists.
KCCI said that instead of involving itself in activities beneficial for the trade and commerce, JCCI has taken upon itself the role of vigilantism. KCCI also urged Jammu Chamber to immediately withdraw the statement or otherwise be ready to face consequences.
This statement bears the signature of Faiz Ahmad Bakshi who is the Secretary General of KCCI.
Jammu citizens are simmering as they believe that the settlement of Rohingyas will alter the demography of the state. Recently the state government told the legislative assembly that there were 5,743 Rohingyas present in the state.
It also said that the Rohingyas are staying at various places in the districts of Jammu and Samba. The government also revealed this year that no less than 14 Rohingya Muslims married local Kashmiri Muslims and 10 others were in jail for different reasons.
Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) chairman Harsh Dev Singh, had earlier even wondered about the use of Article 370 when anyone can be settled here:
“Article 370 that grants special status to the state does not allow the government to settle immigrants here. How have they settled criminals here? They should immediately leave Jammu. Otherwise, we will force them to leave.”
But really, not anyone can actually settle here, Kashmiri Pandits and Sainik colonies are examples.
Who are the West Pak Refugees? Same as the Rohingyas?
West Pak refugees, unlike Rohingyas, are not settlers or of foreign origin. They are the people who came to India during partition and have no criminal/terrorism charges against them. Mostly comprising of Hindus and Sikhs they settled in J&K and are citizens of India and they have the right to vote in parliamentary elections. However, they are not permanent residents of the State in terms of J&K Constitution. They do not enjoy voting rights to the state assembly and local bodies.
The conferment of Permanent Resident Status to the West Pakistani refugees settled in J&K falls within the purview of J&K Constitution, which will enable them for jobs under the state government, for admission into the state technical/professional institutions and the right to purchase/ acquire land/ immovable properties in the State of J&K.
Angry with the approach of the state government Ladakhis are protesting to gain separation from what they say is discrimination of Kashmir-centric policy of the state government while Jammu simmers as well.
By Namta Gupta
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