Eid comes early in Jammu and Kashmir as Rajnath Singh showers gifts

Relief, employment initiatives for border residents, West Pakistan Refugees, but ceasefire extension on hold

Published: 09th June 2018 06:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th June 2018 06:06 AM   |  A+A-

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh addresses a press conference in Jammu on Friday. Singh is flanked by J&K Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta and Union minister Jitendra Singh | pti

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the decision on extension of Ramzan ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir would be taken after a security review meeting in the national Capital, even as he rolled out a string of relief and employment initiatives for border residents, West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) and migrant Kashmiri Pandits.

“We will review security situation of the State in Delhi. We will talk to state government representatives and take a decision on ceasefire extension,” Singh told reporters outside Dak Bungalow, Kupwara on Friday.

Accompanied by J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Union Minister Jitendra Singh, he met delegations and people living in border areas of Kupwara district and later the border areas of RS Pura sector, which recently witnessed heavy Pakistani mortar shelling.

Border residents apprised Singh of their problems and told him the 2003 border ceasefire should be respected by both sides so that they can live without fear.  Singh told them that the Centre was committed to provide every possible relief to people living in border areas.

Singh announced two border battalions for exclusive recruitment of border population and 60 per cent reservation for border youth in five Indian Reserve battalions.  He also announced plans to raise one Mahila Battalion from Jammu and Kashmir each to give representation to women in security forces that would provide employment to around 2,000 women.

Announcing relief for cross border shelling victims, Singh announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia to Next of Kin (NoK) of those killed. Compensation for loss of each milch animal in border shelling has been increased from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000. Fixed depositing of ex-gratia would be done away and Rs 5 lakh compensation would be deposited directly into bank account of beneficiaries.

Singh promised to expedite construction of 13,029 individual and 1,431 community bunkers in border areas and announced five bullet-proof ambulances. The MHA, he said, has approved Rs 415 crore for their construction. “The government is also contemplating construction of Seema-Bhawans for the safety of border people.”  Singh said the government had decided to give financial assistance of Rs 5.5 lakh per family for WPRs settled in J&K. About 5,764 WPR families will benefit from this decision.
Singh said the relief given to Kashmiri Pandits and migrants has now been increased to Rs 13,000 per family per month from Rs 10,000. 

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