Cross-border shelling: Central team assesses damages along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch, Rajouri

Jammu: A five-member team led by a senior home ministry official on Saturday visited villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri and Poonch districts to assess the damages caused by cross-border shelling by Pakistan, officials said.

The team, led by Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the home ministry Rina Mitra, comprises Joint Secretary (Internal Security) Gyanesh Kumar and Director (Ministry of Home Affairs) RK Swarankar. It reviewed the problems faced by people living in the border areas, their demands and other issues for a broad redressal planning, the officials said.

The twin districts witnessed the worst border skirmishes between India and Pakistan along the LoC this year, resulting in casualties and damage to public and private properties.

In Rajouri, the officials said senior officers, including Deputy Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, briefed the team about the losses incurred due to ceasefire violations, evacuation and rescue measures, rehabilitation, issues and demands of the people.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

They said the delegation assessed losses in various villages and held detailed discussions with the people in Jhangar village, which was among the worst hit.

MLA Nowshera Ravinder Raina and MLC Surinder Choudhary along with local public deputations briefed the team about the problems faced by public and their demands, they said.

The special secretary inspected the recently constructed bunkers in villages Langar and Dnaka.

The officials said the people put forward various demands, including relief in case of natural calamities, crop compensation, special development package, reservation for youth in employment and education, allotment of plots, construction of more bunkers and provision of other essential facilities.

The residents also asked for advanced medical facilities, including ambulances, to tackle the situation during cross-border firing.

They also demanded for quick repair of border roads and other necessary infrastructure and compensation for losses caused by frequent ceasefire violations.

The officials said the visiting team also inspected two schools that were severely damaged and subsequently evacuated in July amid intense shelling and visited forward areas to assess the threat perception and circumstances prevailing along the LoC.

The team also visited Poonch, where it interacted with the people and sought feedback from the district authorities.

Principal Secretary (Home Department) RK Goyal, Divisional Commissioner (Jammu) MK Bhandari and Inspector General of Police (Jammu) SD Singh Jamwal were part of the delegation as representatives of the state government.

Deputy Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Deputy Inspector General Deepak Slathia, Senior Superintendent of Police Yougal Manhas and officers of district, sub-divisional administration and police also accompanied the team.

The team assured the people that all issues will be taken up with the Union home ministry for appropriate action.

The team visited Samba, RS Pura and Kathua areas of Jammu on Friday.

Updated Date: Nov 12, 2017 08:59 AM

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