May 2002 News

LoC villagers being shifted to Poonch

28 May 2002
The Statesman

Jammu: Fourteen villages located close to the LoC are being shifted permanently to safer areas in Poonch sector in view of the continued Pakistani shelling and firing, official sources said today. This was being done on a suggestion made to the state government by the Army. "We are shifting 14 border hamlets close to LoC in Balakote, Tarkundi and Kerni belts of Poonch sector permanently to safer areas in view of security constraints," the sources said. A total number of 43 villages have been identified for shifting permanently to Poonch. In the first phase, 14 of them are being shifted. Located on the Zero Line and ahead of army posts and defence setup in Poonch district, the villages could pose a major security threat to defence setup on the Indian side. Besides, these hamlets are also potential routes of infiltration for militants in view of their proximity to the LoC. The 14 hamlets being shifted are Tarkundi, Dabhi, Drarti, Broti, Panjni, Qasba, Dasti, Sohale, Ramduta, Basonia, Deori, Daksi, Upper Dalotha, Lower Dalotha in Balakote and Kerni areas of Poonch. The first instalment of Rs 50,000 is being paid to the villagers for shifting of their houses to interior areas identified by the authorities. Lone murder: Denying a TV report that six people had been arrested in connection with Abdul Gani Lone’s killing, police today said they had only detained some suspects for questioning. Fernandes meets service chiefs: Mr George Fernandes today held a meeting with the three service chiefs to assess the situation on the country’s border, a report from Delhi adds. The meeting chaired by the defence minister assessed yesterday’s address to the nation by Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Gen. S Padmanabhan, Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy and Admiral Madhvendra Singh, defence secretary Mr Yogendera Narain attended the meeting. Mr Fernandes declined to comment on Gen. Musharraf’s speech saying New Delhi would outline its view on the subject later in the day. Amarinder visits border: Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh today said the compensation to farmers along the IB whose lands have been used by for laying land-mines and other activities would be raised "suitably", a report from Gurdaspur says. Capt Singh, who visited border villages in this district, said the present compensation of Rs 11,000 per acre will be increased suitably during the paddy season. The Centre has earmarked Rs 76 crore for distribution as compensation against land used by the Army for laying mines and other activities, he said. Indus treaty: Talks between India and Pakistan on Indus Water Treaty will not be affected by the border tension, the Centre said today. "There’s no question of abrogating the treaty. The level of tension will have no bearing on the talks being held tomorrow," minister of state for water resources Ms Bijoya Chakraborty said. Terming the Commissioner-level talks as "routine", she said: "India would share data on flood forecast and the talks will be held as per the treaty signed between the two countries in September 1960."


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