18,000 J&K families displaced due to border firing
12 October 2000
The Times of India
Srinagar: Incessant firing and shelling from across the International Border and the Line of Control (LoC) have displaced 18,582 families since May 1999 and 11,044 families still live away from their homes, home minister Mustaq Ahmad Lone told the state Assembly on Thursday. Giving details of the assistance provided by the government to the displaced families, he said the relief package was available to the families falling in the five-km belt along the LoC and the border. He said the relief package, for which funds were released by the Centre through debit to the National Defence Fund, was valid upto the current month. Since May 1999, the minister said, 18,582 families comprising 83,804 members were provided relief as per the sanctioned package. He added that many of these families had gone back to their homes. At present, 11,044 families comprising 43,510 members continued to be displaced from their villages in J&K, he added. The minister said 2,625 families had been provided rented accommodation at safe locations while the rest were living under their own arrangements. Lone said Rs 22.2 crore had been spent so far on the families displaced from the border areas of Jammu region. ''At least Rs 11.92 crore has been disbursed among the families in cash while Rs 6.68 crore was advanced as ration etc.'' The minister said at least 12 persons had lost their lives in Jammu due to border firing and 37 injured. An ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh in cash had been given to the next of kin of each deceased while the injured were given Rs 5,000 each, the minister added. Lone said the government had sanctioned two relief packages in July 1999 - one for Leh and Kargil districts and another for Jammu division and the Kashmir valley. The minister assured the House that the affected families would be looked after properly within the financial resources.