Union home minister Rajnath Singh said youth from border areas will get 60% reservation in five Indian Reserve Police battalions.(HT/Nitin Kanotra)
Union home minister Rajnath Singh said youth from border areas will get 60% reservation in five Indian Reserve Police battalions.(HT/Nitin Kanotra)

Have spoken to CM Mufti regarding jawans who ran over protesters in Srinagar: Rajnath

Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said he has spoken to Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on behalf of security personnel who allegedly ran over two protesters while trying to escape a frenzied mob in Srinagar recently.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Jammu
PUBLISHED ON JUN 08, 2018 10:09 PM IST

Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said he has spoken to Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on behalf of security personnel who allegedly ran over two protesters while trying to escape a frenzied mob in Srinagar recently.

“Rest assured that I have taken up the matter with the chief minister,” he replied, when asked if the FIRs registered against the personnel — who reportedly acted in self-defence — will be withdrawn.

Singh had earlier visited RS Pura sector and interacted with people affected by cross-border shelling. “I heard their difficulties and also conveyed some important government decisions to them. We have decided to raise nine battalions, out of which two will be exclusively for youth from border areas. These battalions will be called border battalions,” he said.

The union minister also said that youth from the border areas will avail of 60% reservation in five Indian Reserve Police battalions, ensuring jobs for over 5,000 people. “There will be two more battalions for women, one each for Jammu and Kashmir regions,” he added.

Singh then assured adequate aid for those hit by constant shelling by Pakistani forces along the border. “We have decided to give Rs 5 lakh compensation for the loss of human life, which will be deposited directly into their bank account. The compensation for cattle deaths has also been raised from Rs 30,000 to 50,000,” he said.

Five bullet-proof ambulances will also be provided to the villagers of RS Pura, the home minister said. Besides this, he announced a government decision to construct 14,460 bunkers at a cost of Rs 415 crore.

Moving on to the Maoist menace, he said left-extremism will soon come to an end because the number of affected districts has come down from 135 to 90 in the last few years. Even among those, they are overly active only in ten districts, Singh added.

He downplayed a purported plan by Maoists to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that the country’s security system will never let that happen.

“We are always serious about the Prime Minister’s security, and the Maoists are fighting a lost battle,” he said, adding that there has been an 85% decline in left-wing extremism across the country.

When asked about the possibility of extending the ongoing unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, Singh said an appropriate decision will be taken after reviewing the ground situation.

The home minister also held that New Delhi was willing to talk to everybody concerned as far as the Kashmir dispute was concerned. “We want good ties with all neighbouring countries, but Pakistan should stop propagating terror from its soil,” he said, adding that his five Cs of compassion, communication, co-existence, confidence-building measures and consistency were working in Kashmir.

Singh was firm about sending the Rohingyas in Jammu back to their homeland. “There’s no doubt that Rohingyas are from Burma, and they should go back to Burma. We have asked all the states to identify them, conduct a survey and get their biometrics done. We have also asked state authorities to ensure that no document capable of helping them claim citizenship rights is given to them,” he said.

He, however, chose to evade a question on citizenship rights to West Pakistan refugees in Jammu and Kashmir. “They are citizens of India,” he said in response.

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