People living along borders in Nowshera sector Tuesday demanded setting up of “individual bunkers” at their residences near the Line of Control (LoC) as Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reached out to them here.
Over 5,000 people living in 23 hamlets along the LoC were forced to shun homes in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district following heavy firing and shelling four months ago.
Home Minister reviewed the status of various issues and held detailed discussions with public representatives and senior officers. He asked the officer from Central and State Government for comprehensive action plan about various issues and demand raised for welfare, settlement and safety of border residents.
Earlier, District Collector, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary made a detailed presentation about problems faced by border residents, losses due to ceasefire violation including deaths, injuries, loss of private property and damage to schools and buildings. He also gave a brief resume about rescue and relief measures as well as facilities provided at camps.
The DC in his presentation briefed about the status of bunkers and further proposal submitted, demand for cash compensation, 1030 Kanal state land proposed for alternative shelters, demand for special recruitment drive and education package, need for improvement in power and roads infrastructure in border villages, inclusion of crop losses under Prime Minister Fasal Bhima Yojana, coverage of border migrants under SDRF norms and other proposals.
Meanwhile Home Minister stated that the people living in the border areas are the strategic assets of the country.
“If there is any biggest strategic asset of India, it is the India citizens living on the borders of the country. If we get strategic successes, it is because of your contribution,” he said.
Singh told the border dwellers that he could not visit them earlier due to bad weather conditions and said he has been briefed about their demands and do whatever is possible.
“If need be to talk to the prime minister, I will talk to him too,” he said.
He said that five Indian Reserve Police Force (IRP) have been sanctioned and for Jammu and Kashmir 60 per cent of recruitment should take place from border areas.
He also assured the locals that recruitments in para military forces will be undertaken in border belts too.