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Now, acquiring PRC gets cumbersome

Residents cry foul as authorities now insist on name of kin on 1951 voter list

Now, acquiring PRC gets cumbersomeFor the last three months, 52-year-old Tilak Raj, a resident of the Digiana area, is moving from pillar to post to acquire Permanent Resident Certificates for his three children.
Although Tilak Raj is a resident of J&K, he is losing hope of acquiring the PRCs, popularly known as State Subjects, for his children because there is no record of his father or grandfather in the 1951 voter list.
The authorities have recently imposed the new pre-condition of attaching the 1951 voter list in the application form for acquiring the PRC.
Tilak Raj is not an isolated case. There are hundreds of such permanent residents of J&K who are not getting the PRCs because the names of their families do not figure in the 1951 voter list. Tilak Raj has attached his own PRC and that of his father to declare that they are “genuine” residents of J&K but the authorities have refused to treat these PRCs as valid.
The PRCs were issued by the Revenue Department but now officers of the same department are not “honouring” these documents. “A large number of fake PRCs have been issued so we are not considering the PRCs as valid documents to issue new State Subjects,” said SDM, Jammu South, Shahid Mehmood while defending his decision about the 1951 voter list for issuing new PRCs.
“We cannot find out if the PRC already acquired by a person is genuine or fake so we have decided not to issue any fresh State Subject on the basis of the existing PRCs,” Mehmood said, apparently questioning the genuiness of all PRCs issued earlier by the authorities.
Those facing difficulty acquiring PRCs for their wards are blaming a section of the authorities for intentionally creating hurdles in issuing State Subjects to residents of the Jammu region.
“I acquired my State Subject on the basis on my father’s State Subject but now the authorities are not issuing PRCs to my children on the basis of same document,” Tilak Raj said. “If fake certificates have been issued to some undeserving people, why should genuine residents not get them due to the fault of the authorities.”
Interestingly, a Pakistani terrorist, who was involved in the 2011 bomb blast at Udhampur, had managed to get a PRC, driving licence and even a ration card by projecting himself as a resident of J&K.