Centre sets up group to study problems of people along IB, LOC

NEW DELHI: A study group has been set up by the government to examine the problems being faced by the people residing near the International Border and and the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of regular ceasefire violations by Pakistan, an official said.

The group will meet people living in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir, security forces deployed there, district administration officials and local public representatives and submit its report within two months.

“The competent authority has approved the constitution of a study group for considering various problems being faced by the people residing near IB and LOC in the wake of regular threats of cross border firing,” an order issued by the home ministry said.

Special secretary in the home ministry Rina Mitra will head the team. The principal secretary (home) in the Jammu and Kashmir government, the divisional commissioner of Jammu and the divisional commissioner of Srinagar are members while the joint secretary (J&K) in the home ministry is the member- secretary of the group.

The study group will prepare a detailed report of the issues being faced by the public living near IB and LOC and submit its recommendations on the remedial action that needs to be taken to address these issues, the order issued yesterday said.

India shares a 3,323 km long border with Pakistan of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LOC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.

There has been a sharp increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan in recent times. Till August 1, there were 285 violations by Pakistani forces while in 2016, the number was 228 for the entire year, according to Army figures.

There were 83 ceasefire violations, one BAT (border action team) attack and two infiltration bids from the Pakistani side in June in which 4 people, including 3 jawans, were killed and 12 injured.

Eleven people, including nine soldiers, were killed and 18 injured in Pakistani ceasefire violations in July.

On August 27, five civilians, including a woman and two minor boys, were injured in a ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops in Poonch district.

On September 1, an Assistant Sub Inspector of the Border Security Force (BSF) sustained bullet injuries due to enemy fire from across the LoC at a forward post in Krishna Ghati sector.

An Army jawan was killed as Pakistani forces violated the ceasefire by firing from across the LoC in Poonch district on October 3. (AGENCIES)