In an unprecedented development, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has launched a portal for the Kashmiri Pandits to reclaim their properties that were left behind. The decision regarding the properties comes nearly a month after the J&K administration ordered the full implementation of the Immovable Property Act for the Kashmiri Pandits.
J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has ordered the implementation of this decision on August 13. Now in line with the previous decision, the administration has taken this step to ensure the seamless rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. This decision is considered as another major decision after the famous abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A in August 2019.
In the late 90s, during the infamous exodus, thousands of Kashmiri Pandits had to leave behind their properties in the erstwhile state which were later encroached or sold at throwaway prices.
The J&K administration has set up an effective method to ensure the devolution of powers to the District Commissioners. Multiple amendments have been made to the laws of 1976 and 1997. In addition, the District Commissioners will now be responsible for ensuring no illegal encroachment takes place, even if no complaint has been registered against any such action.
Meanwhile, the owners who left their properties have to register on the portal and mention the location of their property and the year they left. In addition, they have also been asked to mention if anyone has encroached on the property.
Last month Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had ordered the full implementation of the Immovable Property Act For Kashmiri Pandits. Sinha has already directed the authorities to take action against anyone violating the J&K Migrant Immovable Property Act 1997.
The administration has also ensured that it would take timely action against any violation of the Act, including respect to religious properties, besides ensuring eviction, custody, and restoration of such properties. The step is being taken to stop the possible encroachment of immovable assets of Kashmiri Pandits in the valley. LG Sinha had also ordered the authorities to conduct surveys and take stock of properties left behind by the migrants.