Displaced border dwellers demand land, bunkers in Jammu and Kashmir

The demands were made by people putting up at three relief camps set up by the state government for border dwellers who have been bearing the brunt of heavy shelling.

Press Trust of India
R S Pura (Jammu), Publish Date: Jan 22 2018 3:44PM | Updated Date: Jan 22 2018 3:44PM
Displaced border dwellers demand land, bunkers in Jammu and KashmirFile Photo

Living with the constant fear of shelling, displaced border dwellers are scared of returning to their homes and are demanding early sanction of the "promised" piece of land in safer zones and construction of bunkers.

The demands were made by people putting up at three relief camps set up by the state government for border dwellers who have been bearing the brunt of heavy shelling.

12 persons, including five forces' personnel, have been killed and over 50 others injured in the firing by Pakistan in the five districts of Jammu, Kathua and Samba along the IB and LoC since Thursday last.

Last month, the Centre gave a sanction for construction of 14,460 underground bunkers at a cost of Rs 415.73 crore for safety of people living along the LoC and the IB in Jammu division.

The BJP had promised five marlas(1361.25 sq ft)of land for border villagers during the election campaigning in the state ahead of forming a government with the PDP in 2015.

However, last year, the government informed the state legislative assembly that it had decided to construct bunkers in border districts instead of allotting five marlas of land to each family as shifting of population to another place would not be in the interest of the state or nation.

What we are getting is only hollow promises and unabated firing from Pakistan over the last four years. The government needs to act and provide us the promised five marlas of land away from the firing zone for our safety, Sudesh Kumari, a resident of Beghwara Choga, told PTI.

Kumari is among 150 border residents camping at the Indian Training Institute (ITI) complex in this sector after one of her relatives lost his life in the shelling along the International Border in Bhera village on Saturday.

Hamara Jeena Haraam Ho Gaya hai (Our life has become a hell), she said as nearly three dozen women gathered to condole the demise of her brother-in-law Ghar Singh in the shelling second the view.

Singh was among six persons killed in R S Pura and Arnia sectors, while 32 others were injured.

The dead included a BSF jawan.

Suneeta said, We are living a life of uncertainty with no future. During firing, we are even unable to help our children to move to safety, she said, adding the lurking threat of shelling is taking a toll on our mental health.

Making a passionate appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 75-year-old Krishna Devi from Abdullian said, With folded hands, we want to say that we are not even safe in our homes as shells pierce the roof and walls and we should be helped on humanitarian grounds.

Her grandson Pankaj Kumar said they are afraid to go back to their homes.

The firing was intense (over the past week) and we fear it might continue till R-Day, he said.

 

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