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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Pak troops ask villagers to stop work in Keran village

Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, October 23, 2013
First Published: 19:53 IST(23/10/2013) | Last Updated: 19:55 IST(23/10/2013)

More than two weeks after the standoff between the army and militants came to an end, reports from the border area suggest that Pakistani troops have forced labourers to stop some developmental work in a village.

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Sources suggest that a group of Pakistani soldiers came close to the Line of Control (LoC) and asked labourers to stop construction work in a village near the border.

The construction work was being carried out by the civil administration under the border area development work for the 'model village project' on the bed of Kishanganga river in Keran village.

The construction work included a children's park, a reading room and a community centre.

Kishanganga river serves as LoC in the area. Pakistan had objected to Kishanganga project and had taken the matter to arbitration court in the Hague in the Netherlands. Pakistan is contending that the power project would lead to diversion of the Kishanganga waters.

"The Pakistani soldiers came close to the banks of Kishanganga around 5pm on Monday. There were two people, including a civilian and a soldier, who were carrying a white flag and later screamed at the labourers to stop work," said defence spokesman Lt Col NN Joshi.

"The work was being done by the civil administration and community under the border area development project, so Pakistan has no business in interfering in civil work. Residents brought it to our notice and we have assured them our support," he added.

Confirming the incident, state rural development minister Ali Mohammad Sagar said the Pakistani troops had erected some banners asking labourers to stop work. "They had not crossed over to our side and had put the banners inside their territory," he said.

Sagar, however, said the civil administration has visited the area and work has been resumed. "We have sent the deputy commissioner concerned to the area and work will be resumed," said Sagar.
"It's a Rs. 2.25-crore project and we will make sure the work is not affected. In case there is any major issue, the army authorities will take care of it," he added.


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