October 2017 News

Border Shelling: Govt Forms Panel To Study Problems Of People Along IB, LoC

6 October 2017

New Delhi: The Centre has set up a study group to examine the problems being faced by the people living near the International Border and the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir due to ever-present threat of cross-border firing by Pakistan. The group will meet the people living in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir, security forces deployed there, district administration officials and local public representatives and submit a report within two months. Pakistan has violated the ceasefire more than 600 times so far this year, the highest in a decade, in which eight civilians and 16 security personnel were killed, a home ministry official said. 'The competent authority has approved the constitution of a study group for considering various problems being faced by the people residing near IB and LoC in the wake of regular threats of cross-border firing,' an order issued by the home ministry said. Cross-border shelling often results in loss of life and destruction of homes and dwellings near the border. The study group would look into three broad issues: demand for land for relocation in case of shelling, construction of more bunkers and compensation issues related to shelling. Special secretary in the home ministry Rina Mitra will head the team. The principal secretary (home) in the J&K government, the divisional commissioner of Jammu and the divisional commissioner of Srinagar are members. The joint secretary (J&K) in the home ministry is the member-secretary of the group. The panel will prepare a detailed report on the issues being faced by the people living near the IB and the LoC and submit recommendations, the order issued yesterday said. India shares a 3,323-km long border with Pakistan of which 221 km of IB and 740 km of LoC fall in J&K. There has been a sharp increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan in recent times. Its troops have opened fire on Indian territories more than 600 times till September 30 this year, the highest number of ceasefire violations in nearly a decade, a Home Ministry official said. There were nearly 450 ceasefire violations in 2016. A Home Ministry official said security forces have managed to push back a lot of infiltrators and many militant commanders have been neutralised in Jammu and Kashmir. The border residents of Rajouri and Nowshera had told home minister Rajnath Singh during his recent visit that individual bunker was the immediate need of the border residents. As of now, the central government provides Rs 5 lakh to those affected by cross-border firing as per a central assistance scheme for the victims of terrorism-Left Wing Extremism-border firing etc. The amount is provided in case of death or loss of limb because of cross-border firing.