A delegation of West Pakistani Refugees, led by its President Labha Ram Gandhi, met Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on monday and demanded action against Pakistan in the wake of yesterday’s Uri attack resulting in the martyrdom of 18 Indian soldiers.
In a meeting lasting over 45 minutes, the members of delegation said that they are among the earliest victims of Pakistan hostility towards India and have suffered injustice for nearly seven decades since the time of partition. They said, as true patriots, while they have constantly suffered for their genuine rights, they also feel extremely distressed by the losses suffered by Indian brave hearts.
While appreciating the sentiments of the members of delegation, Dr Jitendra Singh assured them that whatever future strategy the Government of India decides, it will be in the best interest of the nation and in keeping with the expectations of over 125 crore people of India. Recalling the meeting which Labha Ram Gandhi and his team had with the All Party delegation that visited Jammu on 5th of this month, Dr Jitendra Singh assured them that the Union Government is seized of their concerns and a mechanism is being worked out to address them.
Dr Jitendra Singh noted that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has started a special recruitment drive for West Pakistan refugees, but they were facing problems because of the non-issuance SC/ST/ OBC certificates by the State Government, since they did not figure in the list of State citizens. He said, the officers in the MHA are working out a suitable provision to overcome this anomaly. Referring to Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the MHA has appointed a Nodal Officer to exclusively coordinate with the refugee community for redressal of their day to day issues.
Labha Ram Gandhi, while speaking to media after the meeting, appreciated the keen interest conveyed by Dr Jitendra Singh in the redressal of their grievances and for the meetings arranged by him between them and the officials of Union Home Ministry. In addition to issue relating to SC / ST / OBC Certificate, he said that because of the refusal to accept them as citizens, they were also denied the benefits of several Central Government schemes like ‘Laadli Beti’, etc.