MHA to raise two border battalions: Rajnath

JAMMU: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that nine battalion including two border battalions and one women battalion for Jammu and Kashmir regions each will be raised in the state.
“Two border battalions will be raised for Jammu region and five India Reserve Battalions recruiting 5,000 local youth will also be raised having 60 percent reservation for those living in the border belts,” Singh told reporters here at a press conference on Friday evening in the last leg of his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
He said that two women battalions (one each for Jammu and Kashmir regions) will also be raised as this will provide direct employment to nearly 2000 women of the state.
The Union Minister said that the Ministry of Home Affairs has also revisited the scheme of giving Rs 5 lakhs for the persons killed during Cross Border Firing and Ceasefire Violations.
“Now this amount of Rs 5 lakhs will be directly credited to the account of Next of Kin and all conditions relating to fixed deposit have been removed,” he asserted.
Singh further said that the Home Ministry has also decided to give financial assistance of Rs 5.5 lakh per family for West Pakistan Refugees settled in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Nearly 5764 families will be benefitted from this decision,” he said but played down the query on citizenship rights to the West Pakistani Refugees.
“They are citizens of India and we are reviewing their citizenship right status,” he added.
In 2014 Assembly elections, citizenship right to West Pakistani Refugees was one of the core agendas of the BJP in its manifesto.
On relief hike to displaced Kashmiri migrants, Mr Singh said, “the relief given to Kashmiri and Jammu migrants was increased to Rs 10000 in year 2015. Now we have decided to give 30 percent hike. This amount will be increased to Rs 13000 per family per month.”
Singh also announced five bullet proof ambulances for the border areas in Jammu region.
Assuring to expedite the work of construction of individual and community bunkers proposed in border areas, Mr Singh said, “five bullet proof ambulances for border areas shall also be provided on the demand of border residents to evacuate injured persons at the time of cross border firing.”
Addressing border residents at series of interaction sessions here in bordering R S Pura village, the Home Minister said that centre is committed to provide every possible relief to the people living along the border areas.
“We are abreast with your problems, you are facing tremendous hardships,” he said and hailed border residents while acknowledging their problems as recurring.
He also rolled out string of relief and employment initiatives for border residents.
Assuring more welfare programmes, the Home Minister said government knows there is much to be done to solve the problems of border residents.
Rolling out the employment initiatives, the Home Minister announced two Border Battalions especially for exclusive recruitment of border area population.
Announcing relief for shelling victims, the Home Minister said that the centre has decided to pay Rs 5 lakh to the Next of the Kin (NoK) of those killed in the cross border firing.
He further announced enhancement of compensation for loss of each milch animal in border shelling from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000.
He also announced that the fixed depositing of the ex-gratia will be done away and the Rs 5 lakh compensation will be deposited directly into the bank account of the beneficiaries.
The Border residents also submitted a memorandum to the Home Minister demanding permanent rehabilitation at safer places, one job to for every border household and assured income for every family, enhancement of compensations, ambulances, compensation for land affected due to fencing, age relaxation in government jobs for border youth, reservation in jobs and many alike issues.
Earlier, DC Jammu, Kumar Rajeev Ranjan gave a power presentation- the Border Profile of the Jammu District- in which he gave a brief view of shelling affected villages, loss of human lives and damage to property from January 2018, relief provided to the affected families, implementation of central assistance scheme, houses re-constructed under PMAY, Relief Camps and bunkers constructed, remedial classes facilitated for students from border areas and other major concerns of the Border residents.
Later, the Union Home Minister also addressed the media persons at a crowded press conference here at Hari Niwas.
Also present were Deputy Chief Minister, Kavinder Gupta, Union Minister of State for PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Sham Lal Choudhary, Vice Chairman SC Advisory Board, Bhushan Lal Dogra, Member Parliament, Jugal Kishore Sharma, MLA Gagan Bhagat, Union Home Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, Chief Secretary, B B Vyas, Principal Secretary Home, R. K. Goyal, DGP SP Vaid, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Rohit Kansal, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Hemant Kumar Sharma, Rajeev Ranjan, IGP Jammu Dr SD Singh, DIG Jammu Samba Kathua Range Rafiq-Ul-Hassan and Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Kumar.