Parliament panel visits disturbed areas of Jammu
3 March 2002
The Times of India
JAMMU: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence on Sunday visited Palanwalla area of Akhnoor sector in Jammu division and took stock of the problems being faced by border migrants, farmers and army personnel in the wake of heightened tension on the Indo-Pak border. The 11-member team, headed by Madan Lal Khurana, discussed with army personnel the problems being faced by them in view of their continued deployment on the borders since the December 13 terror strike on the Parliament. The committee also met residents of the border areas, migrants and farmers who have been directly affected by the deployment of the army in the border villages. The farmers informed the committee members about the damage caused to their standing crops due to occupation of their land for mining purposes by the troops. Khurana told them that the committee would submit a detailed report to the Prime Minister and defence minister for providing adequate cash relief to them for the damages caused to the standing crops and for the land occupied by the army for mining. Later he told reporters that 70,100 acres is Jammu and Kashmir is being occupied by the army, which has laid mines in 25,000 acres. The remaining land is being utilised by the army for other defence related purposes. Khurana said the committe would request the Centre to provide an interim relief of 50 per cent to the border migrants and people whose lands have been occupied or crops damaged by the army.