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India all set to build a Berlin Wall in Jammu
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JAMMU, Nov 23 (Agencies): To stop infiltration and continuous ceasefire violations from the Pakistani side, India is now all set to raise a 10-metre high embankment running along the 197-Km stretch of the International Border in Jammu sector.

The serpentine wall will pass through 118 villages in Jammu district. Seen from the Pakistani side, the border will be demarcated clearly by first a fence, a trench and then the 10-metre high wall. A strip of land as wide as 135 feet is being acquired for the purpose, to accommodate several bunkers and outposts for the Border Security Force.

Earth excavators are set to be used to dig the parallel trench, which will make infiltration virtually impossible, said sources. The International Border in Jammu and the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir have both remained tense throughout this year. The inspiration for this wall seems to have been drawn from a similar wall in the West Bank, erected by Israeli authorities who say the wall has served as a deterrent for violence perpetuated by the Palestinian militants. The wall constructed by India is supposed to be higher than the Berlin Wall which separated European country, Germany during the Cold War. It will be the first of its kind between the two neighboring countries.

More than 200 ceasefire violations were reported through 2013 in different places across Jammu and Kashmir, most of them in the area along which the Government of India is now planning to build the embankment. On Oct 23, early this year, Pakistani rangers fired at more than 50 locations in Samba sector which was described by security forces as the most extensive ceasefire violation in one night in the past two decades.

Director General of Border Security Forces (BSF) Subash Joshi said in New Delhi that the BSF was waiting for the government of Jammu and Kashmir to acquire land along the stretch. “We have identified the land. The embankment will be followed by the fence,” he said.

Under the Land Acquisition Act of the Jammu and Kashmir government, the project also has to be given a green signal by 24 MLAs, who will have to give a no-objection certificate to the state government. “For the wall to come we have already identified and acquired land in 29 villages,” said Divisional Commissioner (Samba) R K Verma, said.

A similar exercise has been initiated in Kathua too. Sources say the decision has been taken by the authorities with much persistence by the BSF in view of the 2014 withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan. The violence in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir has seen an unexpected spurt this year. “It is only possible to construct a wall of this size in certain places in the state. It can’t be done throughout the state. Jammu being the easiest one, it will help to stop the infiltration and drug smuggling also, a home ministry official told agencies.
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News Updated at : Sunday, November 24, 2013
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