Protest in Assembly over delay in compensation to border farmers

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Mar 7: The MLAs of Jammu-based Opposition parties today staged walkout from the Legislative Assembly in protest against the Government’s failure to give compensation to the people of border areas whose land has been acquired for defence purposes. The House also witnessed two separate walk-outs by NPP MLA Balwant Singh Mankotia and BJP Member Jugal Kishore over two different issues.
As soon as the House assembled this morning, Hiranagar MLA Durga Dass sought time from the Speaker Mubarak Gul to raise issue of border area farmers. As the Speaker insisted on allowing the Question Hour first, Durga Dass trooped into the well of the House and even made attempt to move towards the Treasury Benches to lodge his protest. However, Marshals stopped him.
In the meantime, Jammu State Morcha’s Ashwani Sharma and Minister for Higher Education Mohd Akbar Lone intervened and pacified the agitating Hiranagar MLA to take his seat. On being allowed by the Chair to raise the issue, Durga Dass said, “the farmers living close to the International Border are facing hardships as they are not being allowed to cultivate their land by the security forces”, adding “people in village Chanderchak in Hiranagar constituency are on dharna for the last six days but their genuine demand has not been considered as yet”.
Attacking the Government over its failure to grant compensation and allotment of land to the people living along the border and whose land had been acquired for border fencing, he said, “compensation amount of Rs 5 crore sanctioned by the Government is lying with the District Development Commissioner Kathua for the last five years but not yet been disbursed”.
He was joined by Jammu State Morcha MLA Ashwani Sharma, who said, “it is a fact that compensation has not been given. Moreover, no special rally for recruitment in police has been organized for the border people till date despite repeated assurances from the Government”.
Expressing serious concern over the plight of border farmers, National Panthers Party Member Harshdev Singh said, “the Government, which claims of treating every region equally, has recruited 2375 youth in police from Kashmir valley and only 541 from Jammu region”, adding “in Governor’s address the Government says that we believe in providing justice to every region but practically the Government acts to the contrary”.
As the Speaker Mubarak Gul said that issue could be raised during discussion on grants of the departments and Government could give an elaborate reply to the issue, all the Jammu-based Opposition MLAs stood up in protest and started raising slogans “Border Ke Logon Ke Saath Insaf Karo” and “Soi Hui Sarkar Ko Ek Dhakka Aur Do”. After protesting over the issue for some time, they staged walk-out.
The House also witnessed walkout by NPP MLA Balwant Singh Mankotia over snapping of road link to large number of villages in Panchari Block due to washing away of road portion at Chuggu Nullah. While seeking reply from the Government on the issue he moved into the well of the House. “The ailing people are finding it difficult to reach hospitals while as students are unable to reach schools because of snapping of road link. This is an important issue and Government has to give the reply”, he said.
In the meantime, Minister for R&B Abdul Majid Wani informed the House that road link could not be restored till date because of continuous landslides. “The area is sinking zone and until it stabilizes restoration of road link is not possible”, he said, adding “arrangements for transshipment of people have already been made”.
However, NPP MLA expressed dis-satisfaction over the reply of the Minister and staged walkout.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Jugal Kishore also staged walkout and tore papers after his listed question was not entertained in the House as the duration of Question Hour was over.


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