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June 19, 1999
Advani to visit Poonch, Rajouri on Sunday
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Union Home Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani is visiting the Jammu region tomorrow to assess the situation following the outbreak of the conflict in Kargil.
Jammu & Kashmir government sources said Advani would reach Jammu on Sunday morning on a day's visit.
He will later fly to Poonch and Rajouri, the two districts in Jammu affected most by terrorism and cross-border shelling.
Officials of the state government will brief about the situation on the Line of Control in Jammu region.
Hundreds of families have already fled the areas of Jammu bordering Pakistan in view of the heavy deployment of troops and fear of a possible flare-up.
Police sources in Srinagar said 5,000 residents have fled from Arnia, 6,000 from R S Pora, and 100 families from Nowshehra. The home minister is scheduled to visit the border areas.
The state administration has been trying its best to restore confidence among the fleeing residents. But the migration has been growing regardless.
Those who have fled their homes are living in pitiable conditions. And the state government, whose finances are in a poor state, is unable to help them. Even the migrants from Kargil, Gurez, Drass, Pandrass and Matayan have not been given any relief yet.
Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah had visited New Delhi recently to seek immediate assistance from the central government. The state government sources said they would again raise the demand during Advani's visit.
The state government is also demanding additional forces for the valley from where several units of the army and paramilitary forces have been rushed to the front in Kargil.
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