Kathua (Jammu and Kashmir), July 4 (ANI): Farmers living near the India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua District have demanded compensation from the state government, after border officials acquired their lands on grounds of maintaining security.
Farmers of 32 villages in the district have been facing the issue for many years.
"Farmers have not received compensation for their lands, ditches, protection walls, border outposts and border tracks. We have been urging the government to give compensation, but nothing has happened. But today, the new Deputy Inspector General of Border Security Force, Virendra Singh, has come and we are going to have a meeting with him on these issues, mainly about the farmers' land being in the fenced area. Even if farmers have to cultivate there, the land must be leveled first," said Bharat Bhushan, one of the farmers.
Meanwhile, security forces have maintained that the land has been acquired for security purposes.
Farmers have said that they are not even allowed to enter the area, which is situated on the zero line of the border.
These areas consist of a large population of wild animals as well.
"There are some villages where farmers have cultivated their land, but during the harvesting period, sometimes the situation worsens along the border area, since the farmers are restricted to enter the area. Farmers are very depressed about this situation, since their whole land has been brought under the fenced area," said Ajeet Kumar, General Secretary, Border Welfare Committee, Hiranagar.
Deputy Inspector General of BSF, Virendra Singh, said he had a brief interaction with the farmers on a number of issues, including the pending compensation.
Singh added that regular interactions with these farmers would be a good way to resolve their problems and added he would try his best to make life easier for them.
"Since I am new in this area, it is my duty to meet all the civil administrators. I would meet them and try to resolve the problems of the farmers. I would make all the effort in this case," said Singh.
Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, both of which claim the region in full. They have fought two of their three wars over the region.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Kashmir since an armed revolt against New Delhi's rule erupted in 1989. (ANI)
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