J&K border migrants seek more relief
17 June 2002
BISHNAH (Jammu): Migrants of the border camps are facing acute shortage of electricity, water and other necessities of life. Around 1.50 lakh people have migrated from the forward areas along the International Border and Line of Control due to heavy shelling by Pakistan forces. According to the migrants, though the incidents of shelling have decreased in the past few days there has been no let-up in the intermittent exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistan forces. The State Government claims that it has provided all possible relief to the migrants. But the migrants contest this. Some days ago, migrants from the R.S. Pura sector staged a protest demanding more relief. Six persons were injured when police resorted to lathicharge during the protest. Savita Kumari, a migrant from Abdulliah village, says that it is not possible to survive for long with a sum of Rs.200 a month provided as relief and demanded more. According to an official, the Government could provide only 570 tents, which the migrants say are inadequate. According to a migrant from Treva village, most of them were accommodated in school buildings and this had affected the studies of their children as well as the locals. An officer in charge of a camp said the rush of migrants was such that schools could not to carry on the classes even in the open. The Government closed schools till the migrants were properly accommodated. The summer vacation was advanced by a fortnight. But the students, parents and teachers are worried. Around 1,180 families from the villages of Pindi, Trewa and Jabowal which witnessed intense shelling during the last few days have sought shelter here.Sevak Ram, a village head, said the State Government had no plans to deal with the influx of migrants.