Jammu and Kashmir to get two new border battalions

first_imgDescribing the border residents of Jammu and Kashmir as “a strategic asset”, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday announced the raising of two exclusive border battalions of the State police.The Minister also said five battalions of the Indian Reserve Police and two women’s battalions of the State police would be raised with 60% reservation for border residents.“Pakistan has been shelling the International Border (IB) heavily [in recent times]. I have assessed the situation and directed border-specific measures to improve the preparedness. The border residents are our strategic assets. I was happy to see their confidence,” said Mr. Singh.The Minister also announced an enhanced compensation package for the border residents.The Minister concluded his two-day visit to the State, by visiting Kupwara in the Kashmir Valley and the border areas in Jammu.He was accompanied by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh to Kupwara, officials said.Besides the exclusive Border and IR battalions Mr. Singh said, “Two women’s battalions — one for Jammu and one for Kashmir — will also be raised with the same reservation.”During his survey of the border hamlet of Pakistan shelling-impacted R.S. Pura which has borne the brunt of Pakistani shelling, the Home Minister said five bullet-proof mobile ambulances will be made available and 14,460 bunkers, including 1431 community bunkers and 13,029 individual bunkers, will be constructed at a cost of ₹ 415 crore in border areas and along the Line of Control (LoC).Announcing a new compensation policy for border residents, Mr Singh said any civilian casualty will get ₹5 lakh up from the present ₹1 lakh and “the fixed deposit caveat has been removed”. Similarly, farmers will get ₹50,000 per head of cattle killed in Pakistan shelling, up from ₹30,000. The new package will cover the death of all cattle killed in shelling and not be restricted to only three animals as at present. , and will cover entire cattle strength falling victim to Pakistan’s shelling unlike the past where only three cattle were covered for compensation.The Minister also announced a hike of 30% in the monthly compensation for Kashmiri Pandits and ₹5.5 lakh financial assistance to refugees of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, West Pakistan and Chamb. “We have decided to set up an advisory board of migrants. It will have representatives of all the displaced communities,” said Mr. Singh.Amarnath securityReiterating that any decision on the extension of cease-ops beyond Ramzan will be taken “after a high level security review meeting and a discussion with public representatives”, the Home Minister said the necessary directions to safeguard the annual Amarnath yatra have been issued. He again underlined that Pakistan “must stop terrorism from its soil”.Threat to PMReplying to a question on the alleged Maoist plan to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Singh said the Maoists are “fighting a lost battle”.“We always take the PM’s security seriously. I assure that Maoist extremism has come down and will end like extremism ended in the northeast. Today, only 90 tehsil are impacted by Maoism,” the Minister said.last_img

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