Govt assures adequate measures for border shelling victims, others demand more steps

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 20: As the situation along border with Pakistan continues to remain highly tense amidst more casualties and destruction here because of unprovoked shelling from other side, Government assured adequate measures for the relief to victims while several political activists and senior leaders sought more steps besides expressing grief over the deaths.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh informed that Union Ministry of Home Affairs, recently approved that relief and compensation for house damages, crop/livestock losses, relief for stay at relief camps and displacement etc. The ex-gratia relief in case of death has been increased to Rs 5 lakh whereas Rs 75000 would be provided in case of permanent disability and Rs 5000 for minor injury. Similarly, in case of house damage, the limit has been fixed at Rs 1 lakh or 50 percent of assessment of actual damage. He said Rs 30000 will be given in case of death of cattle (cow/buffalo), Rs 25000 for death of horses and Rs 3000 for goat and sheep.
Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Bhagat, making a suo-moto statement in the House, said that all injured have been admitted in the GMC and other hospitals and are undergoing treatment. He said the Department of Health & Medical Education has made elaborate arrangements to deal with the situation and adequate doctors (Specialists) and paramedics along with necessary life saving drugs and equipment have been kept available round the clock in all health institutions.  In addition, he said, 197 Ambulances, including (Critical Care Ambulance) have been deployed to meet the situation.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leaders today strongly condemned Pakistan for heavy shelling in R S Pura-Arnia sector and several other border areas of the State and paid rich tributes to martyred Jawans in the firing. In a joint statement, Sham Lal Sharma, Raman Bhalla, Ravinder Sharma,   Manjit Singh, Vikram Malhotra, Manmohan Singh and Namrata Sharma, G L Chalotra, Prof Gharu Ram, Shashi Sharma and   Sobha Singh strongly condemned fresh heavy shelling by the Pakistan and asked the authorities to ensure safety of border residents and make all contingency arrangements to deal with the situations.  They also demanded befitting response to the Pakistan for unprovoked firing especially in civilian areas.  They also asked the Government to immediately provide adequate relief to the family of the deceased and the injured persons.
JKNPP provincial president Rajesh Pargotra and Zonal president Rohit Sharma today visited Arnia, Alha, Pindi, Treva, Kathar etc and took stock of the situation along border.  They held the Government responsible for sufferings of residents along border. They also visited the residence of Sabita Devi who lost her life in this shelling and expressed their grief with the family.
Senior National Conference leaders today visited Government Medical College Hospital here and enquired about the condition of border dwellers, injured in the wake of shelling from across the border in Jammu region.
Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, accompanied by Rattan Lal Gupta, Sheikh Bashir Ahmed and Pradeep Bali went round various wards and expressed solidarity with the injured and their families. The NC leaders expressed grief over the deaths and conveyed condolences to the bereaved families.
MLAs Javed Rana and Dr Kamal Arora besides former Ministers Surjeet Singh Slathia,  Ajay Kumar Sadhotra,  Syed Mushtaq Ahmed Shah Bukhari,  Th Kashmira Singh,  Th Rachpal Singh and   Ajaz Jan have also expressed deep concern and anguish over the continuous shelling, resulting in death of innocent people besides livestock and damages to residential dwellings. They demanded free ration to the affected families for at least five months.
NC provincial vice president Gurdeep Singh Sasan extensively visited R S Pura and shared the agony of the sufferers. He demanded safe shelter sheds for the displaced people with all necessary arrangements, keeping in view the prevailing winter conditions in the entire border belt. Daljeet Sharma, district president Rural Women Wing Jammu, accompanied Sasan.
Shiv Sena (Bala Sahib Thackrey) State president  Dimpy Kohli and general secretary  Manish Sahni said that an evacuation plan should be put to ensure the safety of the border inhabitants in the Hira Nagar district of Kathua. The border inhabitants should be provided with the transportation, food, shelter and other essentials, they stressed and alleged that poor Foreign Policy of Modi Government was responsible for the plights of border people.
Jat Kalyan Sabha, led by its president Ch Kamal Singh, visited hospital  to enquire about  the people injured in border firing. They also visited various affected villages, including Pindi camp, Kathar. Pindi Charakan, Kaku Da Kothay, Chingia, Treva, Arnia Town and enquired about the difficulties being faced by the locals.