An organisation of Kashmiri Pandits today demanded declaring members of the community, who have migrated from the Valley, as Internally Displaced People (IPD) and sought facilities for them as per the norms laid down by the United Nations.
The All Kashmiri Pandit Coordination Committee submitted a memorandum to Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary seeking IPD status for the Pandits who had to leave their homes following the onset of militancy in 1990.
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There are 62,000 migrant families living outside the Kashmir Valley out of which 40,000 stay in Jammu, 20,000 in the national capital and another 2,000 in other parts of the country.
According to the UN, Internally Displaced People are those who have been forced to flee their homes but remain within their country’s borders. June 20 is observed every year as International Refugees Day.
Various Pandit organisations have been demanding IPD status for the community but it has not been accepted for want of a provision in the Constitution.
The migrant Kashmiri Pandits are currently paid Rs 2,500 per person with a ceiling of Rs 10,000 per family as relief. Under IPD clause, the monetary assistance ranges between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 per person with no ceiling. Besides, the government is under obligation to take care of their housing and medical needs.