Mohammad Munshi was 44 and his wife Ferzanda 26 when they crossed over to J&K from across the Line of Control in 1987. Twenty-six years later when the state government ordered their deportation for being Pakistan nationals,they are 70 and 57 years,respectively,with eight children,all born in India.
Acting on a writ petition by Munshi,the J&K High Court Thursday stayed his and his familys deportation. The court issued notices to the Central and state governments and asked them not to act upon deportation order dated January 31. The next hearing has been listed for first week of July.
Munshi,according to the petition,was born in village Ahiti,Rajouri district,in 1943 and as such became a permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir and a citizen of India within the meaning of notification issued on April 20,1957. However,during India-Pak hostilities in 1965,he,along with his father,migrated to Mirpur in PoK.
Stating that they had no plan to settle there,the petitioner said he tried to return to J&K after the end of hostilities,but failed. He was compelled to apply for a passport with the Pakistani authorities to ensure his return home,he said. He obtained visa from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and came back to Rajouri in 1983.
After staying there for sometime,he married Ferzanda Begum of Ahiti and left for Mirpur. After sometime,his wife also joined him there. In 1987,the couple crossed over to Rajouri and since then they had been living in Ahiti. During the period,they had eight children,now in the age group of 26 to 13 years,and procured State Subjects (permanent resident certificates) from revenue authorities and inherited their ancestral land. The adult family members also got themselves registered as voters.