June 2000 News

Pak luring people near LoC to migrate: Army

28 June 2000
The Times of India

New Delhi: More than 250 people from two villages of Rajouri district near the Line of Control (LoC) in the Jammu region have migrated to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) over two nights between June 23 and 25, Army sources said here on Wednesday. The sources claimed the migrants moved because Pakistan had spread rumours about war and offered the villagers financial incentives. For the Muslim Gujjars who inhabit Tarkundi and Datot, two villages that straddle the LoC, life has been bad since they are caught in daily cross-fire. There are many divided families and movement across the LoC, that was possible earlier, is now difficult. An Army spokesman confirmed the migration from the villages located ahead of the forward line of Army defences in the sector. He alleged that the ISI had been spreading rumours about the danger of war between India and Pakistan and the resultant casualties in these two villages. ''Regular announcements (about the imminence of war) were being made from across the border,'' he said. The ISI had also been luring the residents of these two and some other villages to act as guides for facilitating infiltration in return for huge amounts of money, he claimed. The spokesman quoted some villagers as saying that Rs 1 lakh is offered to each guide. In addition, locals had also been promised Rs 600 per adult per month for migrating to PoK. No independent confirmation of these claims was possible


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