"People living on the borders have shown immense courage and the entire nation stands by them in these troubled times," Azad, who addressed a series of public meetings on border areas of Akhnoor, Bishnah and RS Pura in Jammu, said.
The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare said that these people have stood guardian to our borders and their contributions are significant. He assured them that their demands would be taken up with the concerned quarters at the Centre on priority basis.
He interacted with villagers at Chatta Gujral in Pargwal and responding to their demand of land at safer places, said the matter would be taken up with the state government and the Centre to ensure safety of the civilians.
He said that the concerned officers will be asked to identify suitable land to accommodate the people during any emergency.
Villagers also demanded adequate compensation for damages to the crops in wake of continuous firing on the border as they are unable to cultivate the ripe crop.
They demanded that people living along the International Border (IB) be given reservation benefits in education and employment and urged for organizing special recruitment drives by Army and paramilitary forces for unemployed youths.
Azad said that despite various confidence building initiatives by India to restore peace in the region such incidents of unprovoked firing on the border reveal the nefarious designs of the Pakistan army to derail the peace process.
Later, Azad visited Pindi Charkan Kalna village in Bishnah where people demanded special status for the village as it is situated on the zero line. They also apprised the Minister of inadequate health care facilities and shortage of medicine in the primary health care centre which cannot cater to any emergency situations.
Villagers also demanded adequate compensation for the deceased and injured during the firing. Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, speaking on the occasion, assured the people that their demands will be considered on priority.


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