Farmers yet to cultivate their land on Indo-Pak borders

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Jammu, Oct 9 (UNI) Despite Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's claims that mined agricultural fields on the Indo-Pak international border (IB) had been cleared off, farmers still await the day when they will be allowed to cultivate, a senior political leader today said.

Landmines were laid in the agricultural fields near the IB or on zero line, besides the Line of Control, when tensions heightened between India and Pakistan following the 2001 Parliament House attack.

''But the agricultural fields (on IB) have yet not been de-mined and farmers not being allowed to cultivate,'' said Prof Bhim Singh, chairman Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP), after his four-day tour to the border areas.

In spite of Mr Azad's commitment, the farmers are still waiting for access to their pieces of land in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir as de-mining has yet to be completed, Prof Singh said after his 'Haq-Insaf Andolan Yatra'.

He said the Congress-PDP coalition government in the state had completely failed to address the problems of farmers of the border areas. Besides de-mining, Prof Singh said, the aggrieved farmers had not received any compensation to date.

The JKNPP chief also informed that Rs 4 crore had been sanctioned by the Union Government for the farmers of the border areas, which had not been utilised for the purpose by the state government.

Hundreds of farmers have suffered fatal wounds due to inadvertently triggering of the hidden mines in the fields while over one thousand have lost their limbs.

UNI

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