Letter to PM for publication

Prof. Bhim Singh
(Member, National Integration Council)
&
(Sr. Advocate, Supreme Court of India)
Chief Patron : National Panthers Party
Chairman (Hony.) : The Voice of Millions Publication-India
Chairman (Hony.) : Non-Aligned Congress of Youth
: Afro-Asian Friendship Society
: Indo Palestine Friendship Society
Legal Advisor : Indian Council of World Affairs
Exec. Chairman : State Legal Aid Committee, J&K
MLA (J&K) : 1977-1982, 1983-1987
MLC : 2003-2008
Convenor : Coordination Committee of
  J&K Leaders & Intellectuals
2nd November, 2015
New Delhi
Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India
New Delhi
 
Sub:- May Prime Minister Modi shall end discrimination with people of Jammu.
 
Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi ji,
Your proposed visit to Srinagar and holding a public rally has been covered on the front pages of the national and the local papers. Besides, your political agenda, the people of the state are very eager to know what you are carrying in your bag for the oppressed and depressed people of Jammu Pradesh. Your party’s manifestos have made commitment for the implementation of almost all the important agendas I am mentioning in this letter. 
I would like to talk straight to Modi ji that you and your party is committed to hold delimitation of the Assembly constituencies which has been denied to the people of J&K by the state government. There has been no delimitation since 1981. There was only a casual delimitation in 1995/96 which was an eyewash only. The Prime Minister, perhaps, knows that there are 87 Assembly constituencies in the state. 37 in Jammu Pradesh within area double the size to that of Kashmir Valley. Kashmir Valley has almost same number of electorates whereas it has 46 Assembly seats. 
2. There are seven reserved constituencies and all fall in Jammu Pradesh. There has been no rotation of reserved Assembly seats and there is no hope for another 20 years for any rotation. Is it not discrimination with the people of Jammu and the electorates? 
3. The new districts were created by the government in 2007/08 without readjusting the boundaries of the Assembly constituencies. Presently some Assembly constituencies fall in two or three districts, which is against the guidelines of the Election Commission of India and even the Representation of Peoples Act. No one Assembly constituency should extend its geographical boundaries beyond one district. This is the case with several constituencies in Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu regions.
4. That Parliament has a similar law enacted that there should be no increase in the number of Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies throughout the country. This is not the case in J&K. Justice Kuldip Singh Commission delimited the geographical boundaries, introduced fresh rotation of the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies after 2001 census. This Commission was not permitted to hold delimitation in J&K even in respect of Lok Sabha constituencies in the state. Was this not a grave discrimination with the people of J&K?
5. That J&K government enacted a totally illegal law in 2002 under the leadership of National Conference. The BJP had eight MLAs who supported the NC government. A shameful amendment was brought banning delimitation even in respect of fresh settlement of geographical boundaries and denying any opportunity for the rotation of the reserved constituencies which created a terror in the electoral system only in Jammu Pradesh.
6. The Panthers Party fought the legal battle from High Court of J&K to the Supreme Court of India. Tragically the government of India supported the government in J&K. The Supreme Court failed to appreciate that the Govt. of J&K has failed to address to the aspirations of the people of J&K by not allowing delimitation of the Assembly constituencies. 
7. In 2002, the Panthers Party’s condition to enter alliance with the Congress and PDP was accepted.  Both the Congress and the PDP signed the Common Minimum Programme with the Panthers Party to hold delimitation of the constituencies. Both the Congress and PDP betrayed the agreement. This was one of the grounds that the Panthers Party withdrew its both the ministers from the coalition. The Panthers Party has been fighting from the streets to Supreme Court. 
8. The Prime Minister is visiting Kashmir and every resident of the state is waiting for your reaction and declaration to hold delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the state. 
9. There are 24 constituencies reserved for the residents in POK. One-third of the residents of POK have been living as refugees (worst than refugees because they are not recognised as such) in J&K. One-third of 24 is 8. Eight Assembly seats (one-third) should be allotted to the POK refugees permanently settled in the state. They are about 12/13 lacs in the state, mostly residing in Jammu city. They have been waiting for comprehensive settlement till date. The successive government in the Centre have been exploiting and using them as vote bank only. I want to know what package Shri Modi is carrying for those wretched of the earth who has lost everything in POK when the Pakistanis attacked and occupied Poonch, Mirpur, Kotli, Rawalakote and other areas of Jammu Province on 25th November, 1947, 28 days after the state acceded to the Union of India and the Indian Army landed in Srinagar. Prime Minister Modi has to understand the plight of over one million citizens of India who were uprooted by Pakistanis military in 1947 and are still waiting for compensation. Are they not Indian citizens? Are they not permanent residents of J&K and entitled to comprehensive settlement? The people are waiting what Prime Minister of India has brought for these citizens of India from New Delhi in 2015? 
10. Nearly five lacs (500,000) POK refugees have been living as a temporary allottees who were the land/houses and agricultural land which was left by those who voluntarily migrated to Pakistan in 1947 during the partition. These five lacs people have not been given permanent right of residents till date. The land and the houses which were left by those who migrated to Pakistan is managed by the government as custodian/evacuee property. Let me ask the Prime Minister of India, how long these settlers shall continue as temporary allottees? Why they are kept as temporary allotees for over half a century? Let the Prime Minister tell the people where his government stands vis-à-vis these allottees in J&K, mostly in Jammu Pradesh. When these people will be granted their civil and political rights in the state, they belong to?
11. The Prime Minister must have an information that the Scheduled Tribe status in J&K was given to the Gujjars-Bakerwals, Gaddies and some other communities by the Govt. of Prime Minister Chander Shekhar. They deserved it. I want to know why this fraternity, ST, has not been given political reservation in the State legislature. This is their basic and fundamental rights. They are also waiting for the contents packed in the bag of Prime Minister for November 7, 2015.
12. The state legislature has passed several resolutions demanding ST status for the Pahari fraternity. I hope and expect that Modi ji shall not forget that the Paharies fraternity belongs to a strong composite culture in the state and they cannot be ignored for long. Shall the Prime Minister declare that the Paharies fraternity in the state shall also be brought?  
13. Prime Minister Modi must have been briefed on the latest situation about the plight of the migrants, both from Kashmir Valley and Jammu Pradesh. The Migrants from Kashmir Valley have been provided relief both in cash and kind regularly. On the other hand the Jammu Migrants who number about 2200 families mostly from Doda, Udhampur, Reasi, Rajouri and Poonch. They have been given relief less than half what is given to the Kashmiri migrants. The Supreme Court of India on a writ petition of the Panthers Party had directed the Govt. of J&K and Govt. of India to pay all the arrears to the Jammu Migrants (which in 2007 amounted to Rs.21 crores). The Govt. of India as well as Govt. of J&K have never cleared the arrears of Jammu Migrants nor brought them at par with Kashmiri migrants vis-à-vis relief in cash and kind. 
What message the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi shall be delivering to the migrants of Jammu Pradesh, knowing well that all of them rather entire Jammu Pradesh and its Hindu population voted for Shri Modi’s BJP. What Modi government which is a partner in J&K with PDP has in its kitty bag for these Jammu migrants. 
14. Shri Modi ji has perhaps learnt that J&K has its own Constitution and the Constitution of India which is controlled by the Parliament has nothing to do with the people of J&K. The tragedy is that there are no fundamental rights for the people of J&K in the State Constitution and the State Detention Law called Public Safety Act has been used against the political activists for years. Thousands of people are detained under this PSA in the state for years together without trial. I myself have treated the detention laws including the PSA even when I was sitting MLA with Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah in J&K. I would like to know from Prime Minister Modi that if J&K is integral part of India, if he believes, why not fundamental rights available in the Indian Constitution are applicable for the residents of J&K? Why a temporary provision like Article 370 is allowed for 64 years when J&K has been merged in the Union of India?
15. Prime Minister Modi ji wisdom lies in daring and you have to demonstrate it. This is the time that you tell the people of India from Kashmir that entire country shall be governed by the Parliament of India. Any law made by the Parliament shall extend to the state of J&K without any reservation. You should tell the people of J&K that there shall be reorganization of the state. Jammu Pradesh state and a Kashmir Valley state. Ladakh, I am not mentioning because it is believed that your party, BJP, has made a commitment to give them Union Territory status.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister may remember that what I have stated in my letter addressed to you on this day is the writing on the wall and none on earth shall be able to deny the fundamental rights to the people of J&K. Don’t forget that entire state is waiting for your AIIMS offer to Jammu and statehood right to the Pakistani refugees of 1947.   
With regards,
Yours sincerely,
Sd/-
 
Bhim Singh
CC to: Hon’ble Dr. Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister of India, New Delhi