In India’s Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the process of issuing domicile certificates to eligible people is being conducted smoothly in Jammu district’s Jourian area in Akhnoor.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has issued over 12.5 lakh domicile certificates so far with over 99 percent being issued to Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) holders including Kashmiri Pandit migrants and others, across the union territory.
People are receiving certificates “within 3 to 5 days” and are happy that the “future of their children are secured now.”
Dr Vishal Parihar Tehsildar of Jourian said that the authorities are issuing the certificates the same day if the required papers are submitted.
“We are issuing domicile certificate within 4 days to those having PRC. We have issued nearly 6,000 certificates so far. We are issuing it online and offline both. We are also providing the certificate to people at their homes. It is a boon and it will help the people to live with respect,” Parihar said.
“West Pakistani refugees are now becoming part of UT after getting certificates”, he added.
“To issue certificates to West Pakistani refugees was challenging, but first we set up camps to issue certificates to them. They did not possess any documents. Local people helped us and we issued Domicile certificates. They are now becoming part of UT and they will not be refugees anymore. Whosoever living here for the last 15 years will get the certificate and they will be able to apply for government jobs. It will secure their better future,” he said.
Mohan Lal, one of the Pakistani West Refugees said, “It is good for my children. I could not do a government job, but my children can apply for a job after getting a domicile certificate. We were refugees and now we have become part of UT. I am thankful to the Modi government. We are feeling like we got independent.”
Labha Ram Gandhi, president of West Pakistani Refugees Action Committee said, “We have got citizenship after 70 years. Our struggle paid off. After getting domicile certificates, I feel that the future of our next generation is safe. They can now apply for government jobs. We are thankful to the government for initiating this process.”
Sukhdev Singh, vice president of the Committee said, “I want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for scrapping Article 370 and 35A. We are getting domicile certificates within a few days. We will get voting rights and we will vote now. We are feeling like we have got real freedom. This decision of the government will secure a better future for our children.”
Local youths who were at the Tehsildar office to get their domicile certificate are hopeful that this will help them in leading a better future.
“I have got my domicile certificate within 3 days. It will help us in applying for government jobs. I am happy and thankful to the government,” said Jyoti Sharma, one of the locals.
In May this year, the Centre had notified ‘Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate Procedure Rules 2020’, prescribing the procedure for issuance of domicile certificates, which has been made necessary for appointment to any post under the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Union Home Ministry had on August 5 said that domicile law in Jammu and Kashmir now includes “discriminated categories” like West Pakistan refugees, Gurkhas, safai karamcharis, and women married outside.