West Pak refugees can now join paramilitary forces

West Pak refugees can now join paramilitary forces

Seeking to address concerns of West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) settled in Jammu and Kashmir, the Home Ministry on Tuesday decided to consider such people for jobs in paramilitary forces.

This came as Home Minister Rajnath Singh approved “certain concessions” for WPRs that include a direction to directors-general of all paramilitary forces to consider such people from the state, who are Indian citizens and have valid Voter IDs, for recruitment to the forces.

Singh also wrote to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar that similar concessions like waiving off the condition of producing domicile certificates and other identity certificates.

Singh’s move came a fortnight after the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs asked the Centre to take steps to ensure that these groups get benefits like other citizens. Jammu and Kashmir does not grant these section of people permanent resident status and they encounter problems in getting government jobs.

According to the state government records, 5,674 families consisting of 47,215 persons migrated from west Pakistan and were settled in Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts during partition.

As of now, these people face difficulty to fulfil documentary evidence of residency in support of their applications as the paramilitary recruitment rules seek furnishing of domicile certificates from the candidates while the state government issues only Voter ID with Non-Permanent Residency (NPR) status to such Indian nationals.

Singh also wrote to the state government to resume issuing the domicile certificates to refugees settled in the state so as to enable such people to avail equal employment opportunities. The Home Ministry has also issued instructions to the Department of School Education under Human Resource Development Ministry to accommodate the children of such people for admission to the Kendriya Vidyalayas in the state.

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