Plea seeks Rs 10 lakh compensation for victims, bunkers in Uri
Srinagar: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on Wednesday issued notices to Government of India and J&K Government in a fresh plea seeking equal and uniform compensation for the victims of cross-border shelling and landmine blasts.
The court issued notice to Ministry of Home Affairs through Principal Secretary, and to the J&K Government through Chief Secretary and Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla.
The bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice ML Manhas sought response to the litigation within six weeks from the officials.
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Uri foundation through its General Secretary Sajjad Naseer, represented by Advocate Syed Musaib, sought equal and uniform compensation of Rs 10 lakh ac to the all victims affected by Cross Border Firing and Landmine blasts in terms of the revised guidelines of Central Scheme.
Also, the petitioner organisation sought a direction upon respondents to expedite the construction work of community bunkers within the sub-division Uri in order to ensure the lives of the people living in the area are protected and also ease the time restriction for the residents living in the fenced area in Uri, Sub-division.
The petitioner organisation gave reference to an RTI application where it has been stated that there are more than 70 victims of cross border firing and landmine blasts in Uri sector.
“However, number on the ground is expected to be much more,” the petitioner stated.
It was also stated that most of the victims over the years have not received any proper compensation, except for some arbitrary meagre amount.
The plea stated that landmines continue to kill, burn, and damage limbs and other body parts in horrific ways. They cause lifelong impairments, including visual and auditory impairments.
“They destroy livelihoods, hinder access to day-to-day activities, prevent the delivery of humanitarian aid, affect cultural practices and even impede their economic recovery,” the petition said.
It was pointed out that landmines not only affect the adults living in these areas but also have an equal impact on children and women.
“Children walking to or from school, playing, or helping with livestock or farming, can have their futures changed in an instant. Landmines mean that children born into peace are killed by war,” the petitioner stated.
It was also pointed out that female survivors are more likely to be abandoned if they can no longer accomplish their conventional tasks within the family; they are also less likely to be able to access health services or decent work, leaving them at greater risk of poverty.
“These weapons violate people’s fundamental rights to life, liberty and security. They breach social, economic and cultural rights for years, often for decades. The authorities should try to end the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of landmines,” the petitioner said.