By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, July 7 | On the initiatives taken by the BSF, farmers in Rajasthan will be allowed to till their land which was stuck between international zero point and fencing at the India-Pakistan border around 28 years ago.
This piece of land, stretched to thousands of bighas, was closed in 1992 after fencing was set up at the international border.
However now, on the initiative of the BSF, farmers can go to their land and pursue farming. However, they shall be issued a pass to visit their land which will be checked during their entry and exist.
The BSF has made a new gate for successful implementation of the process, which shall be opened and farmers will be allowed to visit their fields after showing these passes to officials deputed there.
Strict vigil will be kept on these farmers visiting this land for farming. However, visit during night hours shall not be permitted for them.
The permission has been granted after the similar move by Punjab which allowed their farmers to till their lands stuck between zero point and fencing.
Thousands of farmers lost their farming rights on their land when it was stuck between zero point and the fencing.
In 1992, fencing was erected under the international agreement with Pakistan, at a stretch of 150 metres inside the international border, but farmers got just 4 metres of land that came outside the fencing. For the last two decades, the remaining land was in ‘Khatedari’ of farmers but they could not use it for farming.
BSF DIG Vineet Kumar had a meeting with farmers a few days back after which he allowed them to till their lands. They were also allowed to irrigate their land. As per the decision, farmers will be given entry at 9 a.m. while they will have to make exit from fields at 5 p.m.
Their passed will have photo IDs too which will be checked every time they exit and enter the fields. Those with tube wells in their fields can irrigate their farms with the help of pipes.
About 11,468 bighas of land was trapped between the Border fencing and the Zero Line. For 28 years, neither compensation was given against this land, nor were farmers able to cultivate it. Surprisingly, even in government records, this land is shown in the name of farmers. In such a situation, the farmers went to the High Court to get the rights on their lands. In 2013, the High Court, while deciding in favour of the farmers, had directed to give back land or compensate the farmers, but the farmers got nothing.