State Times News DUDU BASANTGARH: JKNPP Chairman and former Minister, Harsh Dev Singh held a two-day tour of remote areas of Dudu Basantgarh to take stock of problems of people in respect of development besides assessing security scenario in the aftermath of brutal killing of a local shepherd by outside nomads. Holding a whirlwind tour of various far flung villages including Majori, Gandhtop, Balota, Basantgarh, Mang, Pachound, Dudu, Jakhed, Latti, Sira, Marothi, Sarar and Bupp, Singh interacted with several delegations of local populace who narrated their nightmarish experiences during lockdown period besides highly volatile situation on law and order front. Highlighting woes of local residents, Harsh said, “People of the area had been overtaken by a sense of fear and insecurity in wake of reign of terror let loose by some migrants and nomads from Punjab and border belts of Kathua. The outside nomads, who migrated to upper reaches of Dudu Basantgarh including Seoj Dhar area in summers, terrorised poor villagers and indulged in violence and other criminal acts including loot, extortion and murders year after the year with none to take cognizance. The brutal assassination of Shiv Raj on June 2 had sent shock waves in entire area with several people withdrawing from upper reaches of Dudu for fear of persecution and further violence by notorious criminals having nexus with terrorists. The Seoj Dhar belt, which remained a hub of terrorism for several years, is still a shelter for vandals, marauders and criminals mostly outside nomads who continue to treat the area as their fiefdom and have encroached thousands of Kanals of State and forest land and rented out pastures to local shepherds for grazing purposes. The invaluable herbs, medicinal plants and other forest produce are also extracted by them, with Forest and Wildlife Deptt officials having buried their head in sand and abdicated their responsibility for the reasons best known.” Harsh further said that people highlighted various other problems related to development including closure of Ayurvedic dispensary at Khaned and Raichak due to non availability medical personnel in aforesaid dispensaries. Likewise, the SC Dudu was upgraded as NTPHC in 2014 but not a single employee was deputed. Moreover, compensation for Basantgarh-Khaned road has not been paid to even a single land owner, he rued. “The condition of road to Basantgarh and Dudu-Sudh Mahadev road is pathetic with none to respond to shrill cries of people for their maintenance. MS Parla Dudu was upgraded as High School around 10 years back but is still functioning with staff of MS with no additional staff. The VDCs are deprived of their honorarium and wages for last 2-3 years. The process for issuance of Domicile Certificates has not been initiated in Latti tehsil despite advertisement notification for new jobs having been issued. The people further expressed resentment over stoppage of construction of Kirchi- Seoj Dhar road due to inordinate delay in forest clearance. Shortage of staff in educational institutions was a common complaint of almost all remote areas with people seeking revival of Rehbar-e-Taleem scheme, which had been abolished by the present regime,” he asserted. “Poor tea vendors and Dhaba owners were forced to starvation as their shops remained closed for past 3-4 months. The locals sought opening of the same with due safeguards besides opening of a bank branch at Pattangarh,” said Singh. Harsh asked people to take due precautions to check the further spread of corona pandemic and assured them that all their genuine grievances would be duly brought into the notice of Lt Governor and other concerned authorities for early redressal.
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