Farmers are hassled because of a 400-metre embankment raised by the army along the border near Khemkaran as a precautionary strategic measure during the Kargil war in 1999.
Raised with the promise to get it levelled after the war, the mud embankment stays to the day. The embankment is 500 metres from the Zero Line and 300 metre from the barbed fence.
The embankment cuts the common path at the right angle and the alternative path created for the villagers to reach the other side no more exists as a farmer, Mehar Singh, ploughed some portion about a month ago. The farmer levelled the path after getting his land measured and records confirmed that the portion of the path was on his land. Now, the pathway comes to an abrupt end and farmers are finding it difficult to cross the area.
About 200 acres of land and 12 families live ahead of the gap in the pathway. The farmers have to walk through the fields, which at this time of the year are waterlogged for paddy.
The farmers didn’t object to the embankment when it was raised near Mianwall and Mehandipur villages as it concerned nation’s security. They got used to it over the years, especially after an alternative path was created to reach the hundreds of acres of farmland and houses on the other side.
The affected farmers consider the defence embankment as the cause of their miseries. “First the army raised the embankment across a pathway and then didn’t remove it as promised,” said Khemkaran nagar panchayat president Parmjit Singh Sandhu, whose fields also stand cut-off.