IHK villagers losing limbs to land mines (Kashmir)
Srinagar: In occupied Kashmir, Batara village near Uri is so richly endowed with natural beauty but its inhabitants are bestowed with endless sufferings.
The hamlet at a distance of 30 km from Uri in Baramulla district has witnessed numerous tragedies owing to massive earthquake and accidental landmine deaths.
Whether it is agricultural land, courtyard, mountains, every thing is heavily mined by Indian troops.
The area has numerous landmine victims and one such case is that of a couple who rely on crude handcrafted crutches because their limbs have been blown off by mines.
Forty-five years old Soni Bi would warn you not visit specific area as she had bitter experience of tragic landmine accidents. She was cutting grass on her land when her foot hit a hidden mine. It is ironical that mine fields are not marked by the troops. Sizeable population of the hamlet is crippled and maimed. The hamlet is inhabited by thirty-two families and twelve among them are landmine victims.
Soni Bi's husband, Elim Deen, a laborer by profession, lost his limb while constructing a bunker for Indian army. He says, it is very painful to loose part of your body. With tears in his eyes, he recalls that at the time of earthquake he was quite helpless and could not move out his children to safer place as their house was razed to ground. He says it is unfortunate that people have no choice but to experience unabated sufferings.
Peasants often discover decapitated limbs in the fields. Ironically, people are not informed about the mine-laden areas, consequently they are just left on the mercy of God.
Soni Bi says, despite heavy odds, nobody from the puppet regime extended a helping hand to us and other suffering people of the area.
Von: 5.5.2006 www.kmsnews.org