J&K border residents to get 60 pc quota in 5 new IRP battalions: Rajnath

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Jun 2018 10:03:14



UNION Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the Centre had decided to raise five Indian Reserve Police (IRP) battalions in which people from border areas of Jammu and Kashmir would be given 60 per cent reservation.The Minister was speaking after meeting people living in border areas in the frontier Kupwara district, on the second day of his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh reached the North Kashmir district on Friday morning and later, took a flight to the State’s Jammu region, officials said. He was accompanied by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh to Kupwara, they said. “We have decided to create two battalions from the people living from zero to 10 km distance from the border, and also create five IRP battalions having over 5,000 personnel in which 60 per cent reservation will be given to people living in zero to 10 km range from the border,” Singh said.

Besides, two female battalions will also be created, he said. The Home Minister met several local delegations, including that from the Gujar and the Bakerwal communities, at the Dak Bungalow, the officials said.Singh also visited the District Police Lines in Kupwara where he paid tributes to police personnel killed in the line of duty, the officials said. He also addressed police and CRPF jawans at the police lines.

Talking to reporters in Kupwara, Singh reiterated that a decision on extension of Centre’s unilateral ceasefire would be taken after reviewing the security situation in the Valley. Rajnath Singh said out of 135 districts affected by Maoist violence, only 10 districts remained “worst hit”, asserting that there had been a considerable fall in left wing extremism in the country. He said the Maoists, extremists and militants were fighting a losing battle. “As far as the Maoists are concerned, they are fighting a lost battle. Extremism by Maoists has shown a significant decrease ( in the country),” Singh said at a press conference here.

The Home Minister said Maoist influence was spread across 135 districts of the country. “Now it has come down to 90 districts. This is the achievement of our four years of rule and if we go further in describing it, only ten districts have been left where there is high influence of Maoists,” he said.On being asked about reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on the radar of such extremists, Singh said, “We are very cautious about the security of our Prime Minister”. The senior BJP leader added that the North-East has also seen a dip in extremist activities.He said there has been 85 per cent decrease in extremism in the North-East.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today 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 also added 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 R S 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 border migrants.

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.