Listen to them
When it was snowing heavily on Monday most of us preferred to stay indoors to escape the winter chill but the Pakistan origin Kashmiri brides were out there in the open seeking justice and demanding to be heard.
The Pakistan origin Kashmiri brides who have been time and again demanding their rights are now feeling fed up and now they have been demanding deporting them to their residences in Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK).
The women have been alleging that they are not being heard and are not being provided any rights here so that they can live a normal life. These women who have been seeking their place in the society here have been deprived of even the basic rights.
Even when a Pak origin Kashmiri bride Somiya Sadaf contested the elections recently, she was not allowed to do so. These women have been calling on almost all those who matter in Jammu and Kashmir but their voices go unheard.
The demands of these young women have been ignored for the past several years now and the present dispensation too has shown no inclination to get their grievances redressed.
These women were allowed to enter the Valley along with their Kashmiri husbands under a government scheme that allowed rehabilitation of those youth who had gone to PaK for arms training and had stayed there and were now willing to return to Kashmir after many years of staying away from their families.
However, after the euphoria of rehabilitating the returnee militants ended, the families found themselves in a peculiar situation where they were deprived of all rights and moreover even travel documents are not being provided to them.
It was in 2010 that the then Omar Abdullah led government offered a scheme for all those who had crossed over to PaK for arms training to come back to their native place and lead normal lives.
At least 450 Kashmiri men, who had crossed the Line of Control for arms training from time to time since 1990, returned to the Valley under the rehabilitation policy. These men had got married and most of them had families who too migrated to Kashmir.
Under the rehabilitation policy announced by the government in 2010, the returnees were promised a monthly stipend or honorarium besides skill development training to those who returned.
It has been almost a decade now since they ended up being here. But there has been no end to their woes as no measures announced at that time were ensured to help them lead a dignified life.
The children of these people are denied admissions in schools for being born in PaK and the parents especially father, faced an uphill task as no one is willing to hire them for work.
The promises made to the returnees and their families have not been kept as no official documents and ration cards were provided to them so that their life could be made easier. The harassment by security agencies including the police also took their toll as most of the returnees had to face a tough ordeal while dealing with the security establishment.
Many of these brides have even been divorced by their husbands and life is proving all the more miserable for them here. Still the issue is being avoided by the administration which is reflecting height of insensitivity.
The issue is a humanitarian one and those women who are willing to move back should be provided with the travel documents so that they can head back home.