‘Need to strengthen VDCs in entire region’
*Visits Dhangri terror attack victims
JAMMU, May 25: Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Democratic Progressive Azad Party Chairman, Ghulam Nabi Azad today called for permanent deployment of security forces in the terror-hit Rajouri-Poonch border areas and strengthening of the intelligence network and Village Defence Committees (VDCs) in the entire region.
Talking to media-persons after visiting terrorists’ attack victims at Dhangri village near Rajouri today, Azad said he will take up the issue with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.
It is pertinent to mention here that seven people were killed and 14 injured in terrorists attack at Dhangri village in Rajouri on January 1 this year. Five people, including two brothers, were killed when terrorists opened fire at house. The very next day two more children were killed when an IED left behind by the attackers went off.
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“It is a matter of serious concern that such incidents are taking place in Rajouri district as the majority of other areas are peaceful. There is fear and terror among the people here”, Azad further said.
“There is a need to strengthen Village Defence Committees (VDCs). There is a need to deploy more security forces permanently for restoring confidence among the people in this region. It has ridges and valley. It is a border area. There is a need for strengthening intelligence – both local, Army, police too, so that such incidents are not repeated,” the former Chief Minister maintained.
Azad, who was approached by the locals of the area with the demand of issuance of gun licenses and increasing security said it was unfortunate that the area was struck by terror every month.
“I have told people I will take up the matter with the Defence Minister. There should be a strong security network here so that no one comes from outside and escapes after engineering an attack,” Azad asserted.
“Dhangri terror attack is a wake-up call for all the people of Jammu and Kashmir and it shall unite us irrespective of our religious and regional beliefs to defeat it,” Azad added.
“The barbaric act of terrorism which took precious lives deserves the condemnation in strongest words. But at the same time, such acts warrant our unity above the case, creed and religion to fight it back with equal force,” he asserted.
The former Chief Minister said while many senior party leaders visited the Dhangri terror victim families and those injured in hospital, he couldn’t make it since he was not keeping well. Azad said when he was Union Health Minister, he sanctioned Medical College for Rajouri and did several developmental works as Chief Minister. He said such more initiatives are required to take to uplift the landlocked region and connect it with the rest for country.
“If our party comes to power, I assure you many such developmental works will take place. Because for me serving humanity is the only priority and that too without discrimination,” he maintained.
He, however, termed the spurt in terror attacks in the region as alarming and said that security of people should be the priority of government.
Meanwhile, Azad also met various delegations from Nowshera, Sunderbani and other areas and sought their opinion to strengthen the party cadre. He said given the poor governance on ground, the people are opposing the local administration and want elected Government in place after elections.
“If we talk about governance on ground, the local administration here has failed. It lacks electricity, water facility in different villages and other basic requirements. So, it is time for the elections, and provide elected representatives to the people who can address their day to day issues,” he added.
“Not a single big project has been launched in the district in last several years and what is available for public utility was built up during his regime,” Azad regretted.
Prominent among others who were present on the occasion included party general secretary RS Chib, chief spokesperson Salman Nizami, Ashok Sharma ex-MLA, Riyaz Bashir Naaz DDC, Ch Imran Zaffar DDC and spokesperson, Ch Masood Ahmed, Zahid Malik Zonal president, Sushil Sharma Distt president, Arun Sharma BDC Chairman, Rajinder Prasad, Lovely Gupta and Khurshid Janam.