Jammu & Kashmir Government Mulls Shifting Of Residents To Escape Pakistani Shelling

21 January 2015

Srinagar: Fallout of the Pakistani shelling: Jammu and Kashmir government is contemplating to settle thousands of families living in the vulnerable stretch along the international border (IB) in safer zones in the Jammu division. What is the govt's plan? The government has identified large tracts of land which could be allotted to border migrants to start life afresh away from fear and terror of ever-blazing Pakistani guns along the international border. Under this plan the five marlas (one fourth of kanal; 20 kanals form one hectare) of land would be given to each family in living in one kilometre range along the IB in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district. How many families are to be relocated? There are 75,000 families living in the five kilometre range on the border in five districts of Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch. Official sources said border people of three districts -Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts - would be covered under this scheme of rehabilitation in the first phase. The government has identified land at all the three districts so that the border families could be rehabilitated in the safer zones The Kathua district administration has identified 1,729 families living in one kilometer stretch on the IB in the Hiranagar sector who will be given five-marla plot at safer zones which are off the range of Pakistani guns. 'It was a cabinet decision of October where in we were told to identify land and give the report. Now our report will go and it will be placed before the cabinet which will then take the decision,' Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary, district development commissioner of Kathua district, told dna. Is land available for resettling the border residents? Thousands of kanals of land is available in the border districts which would be allocated to the people so that their future is secured. 'We have thousands of kanals of land available. The government will decide when and where they would allocate the land (to border people)', said Chaudhary. Why was the need felt of relocating the border people? Pakistani shelling has made the life of an ordinary person miserable on the borders. Fear and insecurity is reigning supreme near the IB. More than three people, including two Border Security Force jawans, were killed in the Pakistani firing on the International Border early this month. Hiranagar and Samba sectors were the worst hit by the Pakistani shelling recently. More than 10,000 people living along the borderline were shifted to temporary shelter camps in Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu division after the tensions broke out on December 31. How many ceasefire violations were reported in Jammu and Kashmir? Official figures reveal that there has been 562 ceasefire violations on the Line of Control and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2014. Around 410 ceasefire violations occurred on the IB while 152 violations were reported on the LoC. Around 19 people, including five jawans, were killed and over 150 injured in the Pakistani firing. The escalation prompted shifting of more than 35000 residents located in the vulnerable zones on the borderline as a precautionary measure last year. Is ceasefire on the borders slowly breaking down? Official figures reveal there were a total of 347 ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir including 199 along the LoC in 2013. In 2012, 114 ceasefire violations were reported on the borders compared to 62 in 2011. During the last 10 years (2004-2013), 27 soldiers have been killed in various incidents along the LoC.