The government Saturday said the situation along the International Border and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu province is tense and nine people have been killed and 46 others injured in three days of cross-border firing and shelling.
Speaking on behalf of the government, Minister for Health Bali Bhagat told Legislative Assembly that they have issued an alert for health department in shelling prone areas along the IB and LoC.
He said over 400 kilometers of borderline, which includes both IB and LoC is very tense and people living in these areas are not safe.
The minister said nine deaths including five civilians, two army men and two BSF men have taken place so far in cross border shelling.
He said 46 people were also injured and they were brought to Jammu hospitals. “10 injured have been discharged,” he said.
The Health Minister said they have issued an alert and 197 ambulances have been dispatched to the area.
“The health department in the area has been instructed to work 24×7,” he said.
He said additional surgeon, orthopedician and anesthetist have been deployed in every Public Health Center and Sub-district hospitals in the affected belt.
Bhagat said six ambulances have been kept at disposal in Bisnah, 12 in Akhnoor, four in Mud, three in District hospital Samba, eight in Kathua, seven in Nowshehra, seven in Darhal, seven in Sunderbani, nine in Poonch and 14 in Surankote.
As the minister was briefing the house, Congress legislative party leader Nawang Rigzin Jora countered him saying, “If people are dying on borders what was your National Security Advisor doing with his Pakistani counterpart in Bangkok”.
Meanwhile, Minister for Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rehman Veeri said that it has been the stand of the government that a reconciliation process should be started between two nuclear armed neighbouring nations so that peace can prevail on the borders.
“Whenever there is firing on the border, people of J&K are the worst sufferers and if we want peace to prevail then reconciliation is very important,” he said.
Earlier, when proceedings of the house started, state BJP president Sat Paul Sharma raised the issue. He condemned ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops.
The opposition members, who were demanding a statement from the government, shouted anti-BJP slogans and questioned, “What happened to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claims of having a 56 inch chest.”
“Where are the 10 heads of Pakistanis which Modi claimed he would get for each armed forces personnal killed on this side,” NC leader and MLA Pahalgam Altaf Kaloo told the BJP members.
Senior NC leader and MLA Khanyar Ali Muhammad Sagar said the government is so insensitive on the issue that it didn’t even inform the house about the situation although the matter was raised by members yesterday.
Amid sloganeering, Veeri tried to pacify the opposition members by saying that the government will give a statement.
However, the members thronged to well of the house and mocked the BJP MLAs, who were protesting against the ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
National Conference MLA Mendhar Javed Rana accused the ruling BJP MLAs of resorting to dramatics to fool people.
“Today your bluff is caught. You are in government and are trying to protest also. Go talk on the borders now,” he said.
Congress MLA from Bandipora Usman Majeed said that it was ironic that the MoS PMO Jitendra Singh was issuing statements that the opposition was silent on the issue.
“What have you done so far? Shame on the coalition government and BJP. Singh should ask his Prime Minister to walk the talk rather than succumb in silence,” he said adding, “Veeri can’t talk on the matter as he doesn’t have 56-inch chest.”
Later the opposition staged a walkout from the house.
Meanwhile, the government has cancelled sanctioned leaves of doctors and paramedical staff in five districts of Jammu region in view of spurt in cross-border firing and shelling.
In an order, Director Health Services Jammu directed the doctors and paramedical staff posted in Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Rajouri and Poonch districts to resume their duties without fail and excuse.