J&K administration launches portal to assist Kashmiri Pandits in reclaiming their lost properties
In a big move, the Jammu & Kashmir administration on Tuesday launched an online portal to assist Kashmiri Pandits in reclaiming their properties that they lost or left behind during their exodus from the Kashmir valley back in the 90s. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on 13th August, ordered the full implementation of the Immovable Property Act for Kashmiri Pandits.
The decision taken by the J&K administration is to ensure the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Union Territory. It is one of the major decisions taken by the J&K administration after the abrogation of Article 370 back in August 2019. During the exodus, thousands of Kashmiri Pandits had to flee the Kashmir Valley owing to security concerns and their persecution, leaving behind their properties in the erstwhile state which were later encroached by the miscreants or sold at throwaway prices.
Reportedly, the administration has put in place a framework to ensure that responsibilities are devolved to the District Commissioners. In addition, various amendments to the laws, particularly the acts of 1976 and 1997, have been enacted.
Furthermore, the District Commissioners will now check that there is no illegal encroachment, even without formal complaints. Meanwhile, owners who had left must register on the platform and provide information about their property as well as the year they left. They have also been required to mention if the land has been encroached upon.
Manoj Sinha, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, had ordered the full implementation of the Immovable Property Act for Kashmiri Pandits earlier in August. Sinha has ordered the authorities to prosecute anyone who violates the J&K Migrant Immovable Property Act 1997.
The administration has also promised to take swift action against any violations of the Act, especially those involving religious properties, and to ensure their removal, custody, and restoration. The action is being taken to prevent the possible encroachment of Kashmiri Pandit's immovable assets in the valley. Sinha had also directed the authorities to undertake surveys and inventories of the migrants' belongings.