Woes of border dwellers

Even as the government claims that the border migrants have been sufficiently compensated, the reports narrate an entirely different story. Scores of villages along the LoC in Kashmir and Jammu regions had to be vacated some twelve years ago when Indian and Pakistani troops would exchange heavy fire on a daily basis. Then good sense prevailed on the two governments and a truce was signed. The shelling stopped but the migrants could not go back to their native places. To add insult to their injury, the government of India fenced the LoC causing inconvenience to the people and the wildlife. The recent exchange of fire has wreaked havoc in the areas yet again. It triggered yet another migration and nobody seems interested in their welfare. According to reports, the hapless migrants have been left to fend for themselves. The migrants in Jammu region's Akhnoor sector were promised 5 marla land and concrete bunkers to safeguard their life and livestock which is the only means of livelihood there. But the migrants have accused the government of backing out of this promise. This is totally unfair. These distressed souls have been forced to leave their home and hearth behind every time the two armies exchange fire. The allotment of land in the vicinity of their native villages along the LoC/IB would help them settle down permanently. The government must do it on priority basis and at the same time bear in mind that border dwellers in Kashmir region are facing similar problems. They too deserve similar package. There are hundreds of families who could not go back to their native places after the 2003 truce. They too have a right to settle down in the vicinity of their native villages so that they carry out their activities in their fields. Reports about massive mining in the areas along LoC have also been received. These mines more often than not hit the border dwellers. Hundreds of them stand maimed and there seems no end to this. There are other means of preventing infiltration. Endangering the lives of the border dwellers makes no sense. They deserve a better deal.            

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