SRINAGAR: The state government has admitted that at least five thousand families from 21 villages of the R S Pura sector, the worst hit by recurrent mortar and gunfire from Pakistan. Minister of State for Home Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo today said that as many as 5,000 families of 21 villages in R S Pura, 9 in Bishnah and 15 villages of Jammu tehsil which fall within 1 km radius of International Border have been affected due to cross border firing in the Jammu Division. The government is also mulling dislocation of thousands of families that inhabit closer to the “Zero-line” on the international border.
The Minister said this while replying to the concerns raised by various members in the Legislative Assembly regarding the measures taken for the rehabilitation of people migrated from the border due to shelling.
The Minister said that the incidents of ceasefire violations from across the border have considerably increased in the recent past, particularly in Jammu Division. He said that over 15,000 persons have been disturbed and shifted to safer places temporarily at R S Pura, Bishnah and Jammu with the provision of basic facilities. On August 23, he said, two persons of a family (father and son) were killed and 15 others were injured in the firing. He said that ex-gratia relief was provided to the members of deceased family while as the injured persons were admitted to Government Medical College, Jammu for treatment.
Kichloo said that on the directions of Chief Minister, he visited the GMC, Jammu to enquire about the welfare of injured and the treatment being provided to them in the hospital. He said he was accompanied by concerned MLAs and divisional and district administration also visited R S Pura and interacted with the people putting up in the camps. The people projected some demands including provision of electricity, inking water in the camps and villages along the zero line, construction of bunkers in all villages, besides provision of 5-marlas land to each family at safer places for their rehabilitation.
Responding to the demands regarding construction of bunkers at every border village, the Minister said that the District Administration has already been directed to take necessary steps for the safety of the people. The Government has also taken initiatives for provision of land at safer places for the border people under Rehabilitation package.
Kichloo said that the District Administration has been directed by the Revenue Department to assess the damage caused to the property, livestock and crops, adding that the Tehsildar concerned have been asked to provide medicines and transport facilities to the affected. He said District Administration is making all possible efforts to ensure a cordial and harmonious relationship between the deployed units on LOC and civilian population.
Earlier, raising the issue in the House, Harsh Dev Singh described the border situation as alarming and demanded immediate measures for the safety of border people. He also called for construction of shelters at safer zones for their temporary rehabilitation. He sought intervention of both the countries viz;, India and Pakistan to stop firing and restoring permanent peace on the borders. He also suggested constitution of Cabinet Sub-Committee which will assess the prevailing situation at border and suggest measures for their rehabilitation.
Deputy Speaker, Sartaj Madni suggested passing a revolution by the House pressing both India and Pakistan to stop border firing and restoring peace.
Prof Chaman Lal Gupta called for collective efforts by Central and State Government to defuse the border tension. He sought adequate compensation for the affected people.
Ashwani Sharma strongly protested the Pak firing which has caused a heavy loss of life and property on the border. He demanded proper rehabilitation and compensation to the affected people. He also demanded allotment of land to each family at safer places to shift at the times of emergencies.
Ajaz Jan, Ashok Khajuria, S S Slathia, Sardar Rafiq Hussain Khan, Ch Sham Lal, Yashpal Kundal and Er. Sheikh Rashid also expressed anguish over the cross border firing and demanded immediate measures for rehabilitation of people migrated due to border firing and permanent solution for maintaining ceasefire on borders.
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