Rajnath reaches out to Pak shelling-hit border dwellers in Jammu region

Rajnath reaches out to Pak shelling-hit border dwellers in Jammu region

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti during 'Sports Conclave 2018', in Srinagar on Thursday. PTI Photo

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday met border dwellers affected by Pakistani shelling in R S 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 yesterday, also told them that more bunkers would be built in the border areas to save lives during shelling by Pakistan, according to officials.

Forty-seven people, including 20 security personnel, have been killed and over 130 injured in the RS 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 with border migrants.

"We are always serious about the prime minister's security. The Maoists are fighting a losing battle. They are now active only in 10 districts in the country," he told a press conference here after a two-day tour of Jammu and Kashmir.

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 yesterday 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.