Former Minister and Senior Congress leader Manjit Singh today appealed Defense Ministry of Government of India that the embankment should be constructed on the zero line.“The poor farmers have already been facing difficulties due to fencing on their land. There are many farmers who have lost their cultivatable fields due to fencing,” Singh said here while speaking in two public meetings at village Nanga and Dadyal of Samba district.Addressing the gathering, Manjit Singh said that the Government and defense authorities should take the suffering of the border villagers should be taken into account so that they could not suffer again due to the construction of embankment.Though he appreciated the construction of wall on the IB to restrict infiltration bid, the Congress leader said that “There are poor people and they lives only depend on cultivation of fields.”He further highlighted the issue of land compensation and rent to the farmers whose land has come under fence or it is falling ahead of the fence.With regard to the settlement of the refugees, he said, the Government should not further delay the process of one time settlement and take immediate steps for the compensation to refugees/displaced persons.
Further he demanded reservation for the border people living along the International border.“The border people have been facing the same problem as the people on Line of Control and Actual Line of Control are facing. If they have been given reservation, why the Government cannot give reservation to the IB people,” the Congress leader demanded. He said that recently when Pakistan Army and Rangers restored to unprovoked heavy firing on the IB, hundreds of people had to leave their houses and they took shelters in the safer places away from the border.“Even some houses were damaged and people wounded in shelling from Pakistan,” he reminded, while saying that under such conditions the people have been living and they must be given reservation.The Congress leader said that the Government should also provide five marla plots to the border people in the safer places. He further demanded special recruitment drive for the border youth “There is a need to provide employment to the border youths who have been educated but they are still unemployed,” he said.
Again highlighting demand of empowerment of the Panchayats, he said that Congress party is committed for strengthening Panchayats by giving them powers at the grass root level.He appealed for the incorporation of 73rd Panchayat Amendment Act in the States Panchayati Raj Act.Earlier, he listened to the problems of the people being faced by them in border villages.Manjit Singh after listening to their grievances assured that he would raise the issues with the concerned officials for their early redressal.Prominent among those who were present on the occasion included Ex Caption Swaran Singh, Manmohan Singh, Balkar Singh, Mahesh Kumar, Sham Lal, Dalair Singh, Ghar Singh, and others.