Shelling hit villagers miffed over govt’s unfulfilled promises

The civilian casualties on the International Border have once against exposed the ‘inhuman’ approach being adopted by the successive Central and state governments towards the border residents.
Their demands, which include allotment of land at safer places and community and individual bunkers among others, have remained only on paper despite assurances by political leaders.
“Border residents had hoped that the BJP would solve their problems once and for all and that was the reason they had voted for the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. But all their hopes have been dashed,” said Rohit Choudhary, a resident of Korotana border village of RS Pura.
“The BJP-led government at the Centre has made us sitting ducks for its political experiments,” said Rohit. He said the promises made with the border residents had proved a farce.
Border residents said BJP national president Amit Shah, during his visit to border town of RS Pura on August 25, 2014, had promised to solve their problems if the party was voted to power in J&K. Shah had visited the RS Pura and Salehar areas, where border inhabitants displaced by shelling and firing had taken shelter.
For the last four years, the BJP has been talking about constructing bunkers in the border areas but nothing has happened on the ground, border residents said.
“The Centre has sanctioned Rs 415 crore for the construction of 19,000 bunkers. The construction will be started soon,” BJP Lok Sabha member from the Jammu-Poonch constituency Jugal Kishore Sharma told mediapersons in Jammu on Wednesday.
Senior vice-president of the Border Welfare Union Bharat Bhushan Sharma said: “The successive state governments have not fulfilled any promises made with us from time to time. Since 1999, the governments have promised us that they would provide land to us at safer places but no step has been taken.”
It has been observed that due to the lack of coordination between the Centre and the state government, various announcements made by the Union Government for border residents have remained only on paper.
In December 2017, the BJP had promised to bring a Bill in the Legislative Assembly to ensure that the benefits being given to the residents of the Line of Control should also be extended to the residents of the International Border.