Srinagar – Opposition People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti today accused the Jammu and Kashmir government of abandoning the people living along the Line of Control and border areas of the state and sought necessary steps to provide relief to them.
“The issues relating to residents of border areas need a special focus by the Centre and the state government. It seems these people have been abandoned by the administration and have been left to fend for themselves in inhospitable conditions,” she said in a statement here.
Mehbooba, who visited Charunda village near the LoC in Uri sector yesterday to meet the families of three villagers killed in Pakistani shelling on October 16, said she would urge the Prime Minister to make the Border Area Development Programme more purposeful in meeting challenges of daily lives of the people.
She said people in these areas were panic-stricken and for the first time after many years there was an environment of complete insecurity.
“It is unfortunate that priorities in these areas have again shifted from peaceful existence to the demands for safe houses, bunkers and bomb shelters,” Mehbooba said.
She said the population in border villages face immense problems in absence of proper health care, education and civil supplies.
“The people in these areas are completely dependent on goodwill of the army for facilities of ambulance and fuel.
“The male and female population is required to prove their identity at every point which compromised their privacy, especially the women folk,” the PDP president said.
The PDP president said villages like Charunda which fell beyond the border fencing faced more acute problems of day to day life.
“Failure of the government in upgrading the middle school in the village meant that the children had to travel miles to go to a high school through hilly tracks.
“There is a large population of disabled persons in these areas and Border Area Development Projects (BADP) should specially focus on this humanitarian issue,” Mehbooba said.
She said the problem of land mines in areas where civilians go for work too needed to be reviewed.
“Many villagers have complained about the non-payment of rent by defence forces for the lands under their use,” she said urging the Union government to have these cases expedited.
The PDP president demanded immediate compensation to the families of three villagers killed in the shelling.
“The government should provide adequate compensation to the families of the deceased civilians and take necessary measures for their complete rehabilitation,” she said.
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