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Home ministry takes stock of damages in Rajouri and Poonch in Pak shelling

Among the main demands of villagers along the Line of Control are individual bunkers and alternate plots of land to escape sheeling by Pakistani forces.

india Updated: Nov 11, 2017 19:57 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Jammu and Kashmir,Line of Control,Rajouri
Rina Mitra, Special Secretary (Internal Security) Union Home Ministry along with district officials during her visit to villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri on Saturday.(HT Photo)

A high powered delegation of the Union home ministry officials met villagers living along the Line of Control (LoC) in the districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday to assess the problems of the residents in the wake of continued shelling by Pakistani forces.

Headed by Rina Mitra, special secretary (internal security) MHA, the delegation also included of Gyanesh Kumar, joint secretary (internal security) and R K Swarankar, director MHA. The delegation’s visit came two months after Union home minister Rajnath Singh toured Nowshera and Jammu on September 12.

“A high-level team of ministry of home affairs visited Jhangar, Langar and Dhanaka forward villages along the LoC in Rajouri to assess quantum of damages, problems faced by people, public demands and issues for a broad-based redressal planning,” Rajouri deputy commissioner Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary told Hindustan Times over phone.

Principal secretary to Jammu and Kashmir’s home department, R K Goyal, Dr. M.K Bhandari divisional commissioner of Jammu province and Dr. S. D. Singh Jamwal IGP of Jammu zone were also part of the delegation.

The deputy commissioner, DIG Deepak Slathia, SSP Yougal Manhas and other officers of the district briefed the visiting panel about the losses due to ceasefire violation, evacuation and rescue measures, rehabilitation, issues and demands.

The delegation assessed losses in various villages and held a detailed interaction with the public at worst affected Jhangar village.

Read more: An unending ordeal for Kashmiri villagers on ‘live’ Indo-Pak border

Later, Mitra inspected the recently constructed individual bunkers in Langar and Dhanaka. They highly appreciated the type-design, quality of construction and convergence model with community involvement.

The panel had visited several forward villages along the International Border (IB) in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts on Friday.

After visiting Nowshera, the panel visited Poonch town where they met LoC villagers from Balakote, Mendhar, Saujian, Shahpur Kerni, Khari Karmara and Digwar sectors.

Poonch deputy commissioner Tariq Ahmed Zargar told Hindustan Times that the delegation interacted with the villagers to get their feedback on Pakistani shelling.

“Individual bunkers, adequate ambulances and hike in compensation were some of the major demands of the villagers. The delegation spent an hour with them before returning to Jammu,” said Zargar.

Villagers along the international border and the LoC face death and injuries regularly in firing by Pakistani troops.

Villagers living close to the “live” borders in the state, especially in Jammu region, have been demanding five marla plots in safer zones away from the firing range of Pakistani forces, individual bunkers in their houses to take refuge at the time of intense shelling, special recruitment drives in central forces for their children, compensation for their lands acquired by BSF and army for border fence, and their crops, adequate ambulances and sprucing up hospitals along the borders.

The home ministry delegation is scheduled to return to Delhi on Sunday and will submit a report Rajnath Singh in the next few days.

First Published: Nov 11, 2017 19:57 IST