NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was cornered by the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday during Question Hour.
Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed disappointment over Parrikar’s inability to provide information on the government policy regarding rehabilitation of those affected by regular ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
Discussions began with Congress leader Ambika Soni asking him about the rehabilitation activities taken up by the government on border villages to which Parrikar said: “Since rehabilitation does not come under my ministry, we don’t have any information on it.”
Soni snatched on the opportunity and termed the response as ‘insensitive’ towards those living on the border areas.
Parikkar later told the RS that there were a total of 685 ceasefire violations along the India-Pakistan Border in Jammu and Kashmir from June to January.
While 126 ceasefire violations took place along the Line of Control and International Border under operational control of the Army, 559 ceasefire violations took place along the International Boarder, which is under operational control of the Border Security Force, Parrikar told the Rajya Sabha.He also said that three security personnel and two civilians were killed in the ceasefire violations along the J&K border till February 15.
In 2014, eight security personnel and 14 civilians, were killed in ceasefire violations in J&K, Parrikar said.
Responding to a question on whether the government had any proposal to hike its funds for dealing with incidents of ceasefire violations, the minister said that the allocation of funds for defence was to ensure preparedness of the country’s Armed forces to meet security challenges. He attributed ceasefire breach to various factors including visit of UN observers, local dynamics, attempt to infiltrate and construction activities carried out by the BSF and the Army on border areas.