Feb 4: Expressing deep shock and grief over the death of a civilian in mortar
shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir’s Kupwara district, former
Finance Minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Tuesday appealed the Centre to
sanction funds for immediate construction of underground bunkers in forward
areas where bunkers have not been constructed.
statement issued, Bukhari while echoing the concerns of former Legislators Raja
Manzoor Khan and Javed Ahmad Mirchal, expressed solidarity with the bereaved
family of Saleem Ahmed, a 60-year-old civilian, who was killed in the Tadd
village of the Karnah sector in Kupwara district on Monday evening.
former Legislators, while expressing sympathies to the family of another
civilian who sustained injury in the incident, prayed for his early recovery.
“It is unfortunate that there is no letup in shelling even during the
winters, causing more worries to the civilian population living in the border
areas of Jammu and Kashmir,” they remarked.
to a Defence Ministry report indicating an increase in the incidents of
ceasefire violations along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir since August 2019,
Bukhari said that in view of the heightened cross-border shelling, the Centre
must sanction and order speedy construction of concrete, underground bunkers
for all the left out border areas in the Union Territory, especially in
Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora districts.
said that the bunkers have been found to be an effective response to cross-LoC
shelling, providing the residents a safe place to save themselves during the
residents of border/LoC areas of Jammu and Kashmir have been the worst victims
of hostilities on the India-Pakistan border and along LoC. So all of them
should be treated equitably without any feel of discrimination vis-a-vis
measures taken for their safety and security,” said the former finance
added that amid escalated tensions between India and Pakistan, it is incumbent
upon the Government of India to provide safe shelters to its citizens,
especially living in the border areas.
living near the LoC in Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora districts and their
fellow citizens living in border areas of Jammu province live in constant fear
and agony. They have no option, but to run for safe shelter. People have
suffered injuries and loss of property amid intense firing and mortar shelling.
The Ministry of Home Affairs in Government of India must ensure availability of
sufficient funds to district administration for construction of additional
bunkers in the left out areas,” Bukhari demanded.
urged the Union Home Minister to sanction the requisite funds for the
construction of underground bunkers for the left out areas in Teetwal,
Tanghdar, Keran in the Kupwara district, Gurez area of Bandipora district and
various places in Baramulla districts.