Even unfulfilled promises fail to deter them from overwhelmingly participate in polls

Delay in recruitment for 2 Border Bns, compensation for land
Unprecedented voting at Polling Stns situated 0 to 5 km from IB
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Apr 11: Despite some commitments made with them remaining unfulfilled, the inhabitants of villages situated close to the International Border with Pakistan in Samba district overwhelmingly participated in the elections on the ground that only strong dispensation at the Centre can give more befitting replies to the hostile neighbouring country.
As per the official reports, there was hustle and bustle in all the Polling Stations located between Zero and five kilometres from the International Border in Samba district right from the early morning with voters both youngsters and oldies turning up in large numbers to exercise their democratic right.
For the aged persons standing in queue for longer time to cast vote was not an inconvenience as they were enthusiastic equivalent to the young voters for participation in the battle of ballot. Most of the oldies, who were seen overcoming all the difficulties to reach Polling Stations, had never missed this opportunity in their lives as they understand the importance of this exercise.
Though a number of voters of extreme border areas were concerned over non-fulfilment of certain promises made with them due to lack of timely follow-up action on the part of the concerned authorities of the State Government yet they were ready to forget the same for the time being in order to play role in formation of stable Government at the Centre.
“No doubt promises of providing employment to the youth of border areas by creating exclusive battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and timely disbursement of compensation for the land acquired for the security related purposes have not been translated into reality till date but for the overall good of the country we can ignore this aspect”, said a number of voters at Government Middle School Nanga some of whom even revealed the name of the party in whose favour they cast votes.
“While we are concerned over unfulfilled promises but at the same time we cannot forget the steps including construction of bunkers, taken for the betterment of the border dwellers by the Government, which ruled the country during the past five years”, said voters at Government Boys High School Bain, which was the Polling Station for the inhabitants of Galahar, adding “we want more strong Government at the Centre so that appropriate action is taken against the Pakistan for creating tension for us after regular intervals by resorting to firing and shelling”.
The enthusiasm among the residents of extreme border villages in Samba district can be gauged from the official figures till 5 pm, which reveal that there was around 74% polling at Pangdour Polling Station, 79% at Bain-A Polling Station, 80% at Sordi Polling Station, 77% at Galahar-A, 73% at Galagar-B, 80% at Rak Kangwala-A, 76% at Rakh Kangwala-B, 81% at Channi Jassu, 76% at Rangoora-A, 77% at Rangoora-B, 70% at Nanga-A Polling Station, 68% at Nanga-B, 74% at Channi Fatwal-A Polling Station, 84% at Channi Fatwal-B and 83% at Mandlayal.
All these Polling Stations were declared as hypersensitive by the administration keeping in view their close proximity with the International Border and in order to ensure smooth polling the Samba district administration had not only identified safe Government buildings in the nearby areas but also made other arrangements for the convenience of the voters.
It is pertinent to mention here that advertisement notice for creation of two border battalions was issued by the Police Department on March 9, 2019 although formal sanction was conveyed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs vide communication dated March 8, 2018 along with the guidelines for the recruitment. As per the guidelines, only those youth who are residing within 0 to 10 kilometres from the International Border are eligible for recruitment as constables in the Border Battalion.
Similarly, compensation for land of the border dwellers acquired for security related purposes is long overdue and recently the matter was taken up with the senior officers of the Border Security Force by the Advisor to Governor K K Sharma.