Border residents protest, allege forcible eviction

Emroz Suri
RAJOURI, DEC 16: Border residents living in migrant camps situated in Nowshera town today staged protest demonstration accusing the administration of forcible eviction and misbehaviour.
Raising slogans, the protesting Border migrants alleged that the officials of SDM Office Nowshera forced them to evict migrant camps threatening them to follow the orders. “When we reached SDM office for the redressal of our grievances, they also misbehaved with us”, protestors alleged.
“Border migrants are already suffering while living in the camps but Nowshera administration’s attitude has added to our miseries,” said Sohan Lal, a migrant.
It is worth to mention that after continuous border shelling by Pakistan, border residents moved to migrant camps by vacating their homes. Presently nearly 4000 people have been living in migrant camps where district administration was providing basic facilities.
“We have left our homes under compulsion due to border firing and such behaviour of administration is not acceptable,” said another border migrant, Krishna Devi.
However, Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Nowshera Abdul Satar has refuted the allegations and said that he had requested the people to leave for their villages and there is no question of any forcible eviction. The migrants were told that the administration can make necessary arrangement for them including transportation and free ration if they move back to their villages. More than 95 percent migrants have already left the relief camps due to calm on the LoC during last few months, he said while talking to Greater Jammu.
It is pertinent to mention that 11 schools which were closed in May after heavy shelling from across the LoC, have also been made functional during last few days after the peace on the LoC and all the rooms of Girls HSS are now being used by the students and about 15 rooms and examination hall at Boys HSS and all the rooms, except Headmaster’s office in Middle School Bowli are under the occupation of the migrants.
Students from Boys HSS approached the office of SDM Nowshera and expressed the hardships being faced by them in pursuing their studies and in the absence of class rooms they are being forced to sit in the open in the chilly weather.
Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumers Affairs Choudhary Zulfikar Ali said that these are baseless allegations made against the officials. The government is committed to provide all facilities to the border migrants and there is no issue of eviction.
He further added that Govt is on the way to establish community and individual bunkers in high risk and shelling prone areas and by March 2018, first phase of construction will get completed.