Central Panel Meets Border Residents

Srinagar: The Union Home Ministry’s expert panel, headed by its Special Secretary Rina Mitra, today began two-day visit of J&K and met border residents.

The panel has been entrusted with the job of reworking the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) to make it “all-inclusive.” The panel has also been given the mandate of having one-to-one interaction with border residents living along the International Border and Line of Control (LoC) in the Jammu region.

The visit comes following Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s tour of the state in September and his meeting with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on October 26.

On September 12, Rajnath had announced to constitute an expert group to study the problems of the people living in the border areas of J&K. The need to constitute the panel was felt in the wake of regular ceasefire violations.

During Rajnath’s meeting with Mehbooba in New Delhi, it came to the fore that the BADP was not all-inclusive and it needed to be reworked to broaden its ambit.

“It has been decided that border dwellers are fighting it out against the hostile neighbour’s nefarious designs with all bravery. There is a need to help them instead of demoralising them by not addressing their genuine issues,” sources said, adding, “the experts would look into all issues and problems confronting the border residents, who time and again, become the victim of any border skirmish.”

Meanwhile, the panel members reached the Jammu airport this afternoon and drove to the Suchetgarh area in Jammu district where they held discussions with border residents and public representatives.

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