Mine blast victims in Poonch decry delay in rehabilitation

Greater Kashmir

Poonch, Dec 24: Mine blast victims living along the Line of Control in Poonch district on Tuesday expressed resentment over inordinate delay in compensation to them by the authorities.
 Rendered disabled, many mine blast victims including women and children addressed a press conference here to seek their rehabilitation.
 The press conference was organized by the Voice for Rights, an NGO working for the protection of human rights in the State.
 On the occasion, Chairperson Voice for Rights, Deepika Singh Rajawat, on behalf of the victims said, “despite passing of many decades, people who been rendered disabled in landmine blasts in Poonch are yet to receive any compensation.”
 “Government needs to be sympathetic towards these victims. It is high time to have special package for them with speedy disbursal of their compensation cases,” Rajawat said.
 She said study reveals that at least 550 victims of landmine blasts from Poonch district are awaiting compensation. “Not only this, there is dispute related to the fact that government functionaries say that only those who became victims of landmines after 1991 shall get relief. And the argument of the victims is that Poonch has been facing war-related crises since 1947. So what is the logic in discriminating against victims who suffered limb loss before 1991,” she said.
 She said the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has recommended a compensation of Rs 1.5 to 2.5 lakh for the victims. “Unfortunately, none of the victims have so far got adequate compensation. Concerned authorities are sleeping over such a sensitive issue,” she added.
 Nizam Din Mir, an activist from Poonch who is working for the rehabilitation of mine blast victims revealed they are living a miserable life in absence of any relief or assistance.