Rajnath Singh fails to placate border dwellers

Even as Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday announced a slew of incentives, border dwellers said these are not going to address their grievances.
“Our main concern is security. We want to live a peaceful and dignified life, like other residents of the state,” said Rohit Sharma, a youth from Chakroi village. “We raised our main problems before the Union Home Minister and sought an immediate solution,” said Rohit.
Rohit along with other border youth held an interaction with Rajnath at the village which is situated near the International Border. Rajnath visited the village to meet the border youth who are getting special training for recruitment in armed forces under the Centre for Border Youth Training & Empowerment (C-BYTE) project.
A majority of youth raised the issue of repeated displacement due to skirmishes on the border. “Frequent migration is affecting our study as well as training,” said Vinod, another youth.
Similarly, inhabitants from shelling-affected villages of the RS Pura and Arnia sector interacted with Rajnath at RS Pura. Most of them were not satisfied with the Centre’s announcement.
“Rajnath on Friday announced enhancement of compensation to Rs 5 lakh to the civilians killed in cross-border firing along the Indo-Pak border, but a similar announcement was made on July 10, 2016,” said Raghubir Singh, sarpanch of Changia panchayat of the Arnia sector. “We want compensation to the tune of Rs 25 lakh but Rajnath only repeated the decision which was taken two years ago,” he said, adding, “I fail to understand why the Centre is not taking our issues seriously and is trying to hoodwink us.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Basant Saini, a resident of Arnia town, said deceiving people by repeating old decisions was not going to solve the problem. “On the one hand, the Central government is terming us as strategic assets, on the other hand, it has adopted a casual approach to address our grievances,” he said, adding that the meeting of border residents with Rajnath was a futile exercise.
The border residents submitted a memorandum to Rajnath, demanding permanent rehabilitation at safer places, one job to for every border household, assured income for every family, enhancement of compensation, ambulances, compensation for land affected due to fencing, age relaxation in government jobs for border youth, reservation in jobs and many other issues.
In Kupwara, people seek welfare steps
Srinagar: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday visited Kupwara and met various delegations, including those from the border areas of the district. The representatives of the delegations submitted their demands to the Home Minister, urging the government to take steps for the welfare of the people living in far-flung and border areas of the district. The Home Minister also visited the District Police Lines in Kupwara and paid tributes to the police martyrs. Rajnath was accompanied by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh during his Kupwara visit. After meeting the delegations in Kupwara, the Home Minister said any decision on extending the Ramzan ceasefire would be taken after discussions at the top level.