The Congress vice president, who began his three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, spoke to the families of six civilians including a headman and a teacher who were killed in ceasefire violations by Pakistan in Balakote on Independence Day.

"I have come all the way here to share your pain and grief of losing your near ones," Rahul told Azim, whose brother Amin was killed and another sibling Ramiz injured in the shelling.

Rahul Gandhi, who was accompanied by party leader Ambika Soni and Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee chief Gulam Ahmed Mir, interacted with family of 52-year-old sarpanch Karamat Hussain, who was killed in the firing, and  assured them of all possible help.

The residents of villages hit by ceasefire violations demanded rehabilitation in safer areas and insurance cover for people and property including crops and livestocks.

"People here are very worried, very scared.... These are valid demands. I think the government of India should look into it, do something about it," Rahul Gandhi said.

There have been 51 violations of the 2003 ceasefire by Pakistan in August and over 245 incidents reported so far this year.


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