On February 14 India lost over 40 of its brave soldiers when a Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist rammed the explosive-laden vehicle in the CRPF convoy. This cowardly act of terrorists was condemned nationally and internationally. The voice for revenge started growing in India and the youth took to streets for bringing perpetrators of the cowardly attack to justice. Even the demand for taking the toughest action was resonated. Also, people have shown concern to the families of the martyrs and they were extending all the possible help to the families of bereaved soldiers.
Native states of martyrs announcing financial and other benefits for the families
Apart from Central Government, the state Governments made announcements in this regard. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the compensation of Rs 50 lakh, a piece of land and support to the education of children of the families of the martyrs, belonging to Maharashtra, who sacrificed their lives in Pulwama terror attack on February 14. Likewise, UP Government announced an ex-gratia of Rs 25 lakh and a government job to the families of the 12 CRPF soldiers, belonging to UP, and naming the link road of their respective native village in the name of the ‘martyrs’. Other states like Odisha too announced such assistance to the families of our brave soldiers.
Why J&K state is indifferent to the supreme sacrifice of our braves
Though the native/parent states offered money and jobs to the family members of the soldiers in their respective states but the state of J&K did not offer anything to them, where they lost their life. Essentially, the J&K government must have offered some sort of special packages to the families of the CRPF soldiers. At least the Government of J&K should have relaxed the PRC (Permanent Residency Certificate) clause for the bereaved family and would have conferred PRC on them so that they could be able to acquire property and join services in J&K. It is not the first time that the non-PRC laid down their life for India in Jammu and Kashmir and the successive governments remained indifferent to the sacrifices but it is quite expected that this time the government should have shown the commitment towards the brave soldiers. J&K state remained indifferent to their families and no regular socio-economic rehabilitation programmes/policies were designed for the families of bereaved soldiers.
No much legal hurdle in conferring PRC on the families of martyrs
Surprisingly, it is difficult to understand what has stopped the J&K government from extending the socio-economic benefits to the martyrs of India, who laid down their life in J&K. Though section 6 defines permanent residents of the state yet section 8 and section 9 of the constitution gives power to the Government of the J&K to define PRC. Section 8 state that “Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this part shall derogate from the power of the State Legislature to make any law defining the classes of persons who are, or shall be, permanent residents of the State”.
whereas section 9 states
“A Bill making provision for any of the following matters, namely- (a) defining or altering the definition of the classes of persons who are, or shall be, permanent residents of the State;
(b) Conferring on permanent residents any special rights or privileges;
(c) Regulating or modifying any special rights, or privileges enjoyed by permanent residents; shall be deemed to be passed by either House of the Legislature only if it is passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of that House”.
Certain rules of J&K government and its administrative order infringes upon the fundamental rights of the Indian citizens yet the unconstitutional and discriminatory Article 35A of the Indian Constitution provides safety to the government and no court can give a verdict in this regard. The corrections have not been made by the J&K political leaderships purposefully under the refuge of Art 35A so as to project J&K as a different state from any other states of India. It will not be an overstatement to say that it has been used to ensure sustenance of symbol of ‘separatism’.
At least 15 out of 21 PVC (Param Vir Chakra) decorated non-permanent resident of J&K Indian soldiers have made supreme sacrifice while protecting the borders of India along with China and Pakistan in J&K yet it is an irony that the PRC has not been conferred on them. The land remained alienated to the people who have been protecting it from the onslaught of Pakistani mercenaries and saving it from the enemy country yet the attitude of the state leadership is lamentable. The more disturbing fact is that even the Indian government did not do much in this regard. Also, the people enjoying the status of permanent resident of J&K too have not been serious and ‘honest’ to pay real tributes to those non-permanent Indian citizens who have been doing everything to protect the border of J&K and even making supreme sacrifices for this purpose. But now the time has come for them to show some respect for the men in uniform. The legitimate administrative, as well as legislative corrections, are desperately needed and the incumbent Government of J&K under Governor Satya Pal Malik must initiate it at least now. At least families of over 40 CRPF men martyred in Pulwama blast could be given PRC and this would be a too trivial gesture of gratitude for recognizing their service to the nation. Also, Permanent Resident of J&K status must be conferred to another 21 families of those Indian soldiers who are decorated with PVC.