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Rediff.com  » News » Rajnath reaches out to Pak shelling-hit border dwellers

Rajnath reaches out to Pak shelling-hit border dwellers

June 09, 2018 00:09 IST

IMAGE: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh interacts with the families affected by the cross-border shelling on the second day of his tour, at RS Pura in Jammu on Friday. Photograph: PTI Photo

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday met border dwellers affected by Pakistani shelling in RS Pura belt of Jammu region and assured them that bullet-proof vehicles will be stationed there for their use during firing from across the border.

Singh, who arrived in Jammu and Kashmir on a two-day visit on Thursday, also told them that more bunkers would be built in the border areas to save lives during shelling by Pakistan, according to officials.

As many as 47 people, including 20 security personnel, have been killed and over 130 injured in the R S Pura sector in Pakistan shelling and firing this year.

 

During their interaction with the Union home minister, the border dwellers, living under fear, demanded that bunkers should be built in every house to prevent casualties.

They said also called for strict implementation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement with Pakistan to bring an end to the shelling from across the border.

Singh assured them that five bullet-proof vehicles will be stationed in the region for use by the people living close to the border.

The Centre has already given a sanction for construction of over 14,400 bunkers at a cost of Rs 415.73 crore along the Line of Control and the international border in Jammu division.

Before flying for Jammu, he visited the border district of Kupwara and met several delegations, besides Gujjars. He also had a meeting border migrants.

According to official data, there were 1,252 ceasefire violations by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir between January to May 31 this year.

Singh, who was in Srinagar on Thursday to review the ongoing suspension of security-related operations during Ramzan, had said that the Centre was ready to hold a dialogue with all 'right-minded' to usher in peace in the state.

Singh also said on Friday that India wants good relations with all its neighbours, but Pakistan needs to take initiative and stop using it soil for promoting terrorism.

"As far as Pakistan is concerned, it is our neighbouring country. We want good relations with all our neighbours," Singh told a press conference in Jammu.

The Union home minister said that Pakistan needs to make efforts in this direction.

"It should take the initiative by stopping use of its soil for aiding and promoting terrorism (against India)," he said.

He was replying a question on the possibility of resuming peace talks with Pakistan in the backdrop of a purported Intelligence Bureau report detailing an Inter-Services Intelligence plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Replying to another question with regard to security of Amarnath Yatra in the backdrop of Ramzan ceasefire, Singh said that for 'peaceful people, the month of Ramzan is very pious month. The PM had announced ceasefire so that they do not face any difficulty during Ramzan'.

He said the government will review the security situation and will talk to others stakeholders. "Whatever will be right, will be done," he said.

Replying to another question on whether the BJP had 'surrendered' before ally People's Democratic Party on the issue of ceasefire and was going soft towards separatists, Singh reiterated that "for talks, there is need for people to be right minded and not like minded'.

Singh also said that the Centre had taken up with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti the issue of first information report against security persons.

Asked whether the government will withdraw the cases against security forces in Kashmir Valley, who are often confronted by stone pelting mobs, as they have given amnesty to stone-pelters in Kashmir, he said, "Amnesty was given earlier. We have talked to chief minister in this direction (withdrawal of FIR against security force personnel)".

Asked whether his 5C formula announced in September 2017 during his visit to Kashmir has yielded any result, he indicated that the situation had improved considerably.

"The movement, which is seen in other parts of the country, was witnessed by me on the roads of Kashmir and people in large numbers responded to me. At the sports stadium, 5,000 people had gathered, in which there were locals too and it was very peaceful", he said.

In September 2017, during his visit to Kashmir, Singh had said: "Our government is keen for the permanent solution of the Kashmir problem and I want to implement a five- point programme which could be called as 5-Cs ; compassion , communication , co-existence , confidence building measures and consistency."

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