Kashmir Indepth

Altaf Bukhari grieved over civilian killing in Karnah sector

Urges GoI for speedy construction of bunkers in left out areas of J&K

SRINAGAR, February 4: Expressing deep shock and grief over death of a civilian in mortar shelling along the Line of Control in Kupwara district, former finance minster Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari today appealed the Government of India to sanction funds for immediate construction of underground bunkers for inhabitants of left out border areas in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a joint statement issued here, 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 Tadd village of Karnah sectors of the Kupwara district on Monday evening.

The former legislators while expressing sympathies with the family of another civilian who sustained injury in the incident, prayed for his early recovery. “It is unfortunate that there is no let up in shelling even during winters-causing more worries to the civilian population living in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir,” they remarked.

Referring to a defense ministry report indicating an increase in the incidents of ceasefire violations along the LoC in J&K since August 2019, Bukhari said that in view of the heightened cross-border shelling, the government of India must sanction and order speedy construction of concrete, underground bunkers for all left out border areas in Jammu and Kashmir especially in Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora districts.

He said that the bunkers have been found to be an effective response to cross-border shelling, providing border residents a safe place to cover themselves during shelling incidents. “The residents of border areas of Jammu and Kashmir have been the worst victims of hostilities on India-Pakistan border and along LoC. So all of them should be treated equitably without any feel of discrimination vis-à-vis measures taken for their safety and security,”   said the former finance minister.

He 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.

“People living near 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.

He urged the home minister of India to sanction the requisite funds for construction of underground bunkers for the left out areas in Tweetwal, Tanghdar, Keran in Kupwara district, Gurez area of Bandipora district and various places in Baramulla districts.

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