Himachal wants photo IDs for Tibetan, Nepalese refugees

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New Delhi, Dec 20 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today urged the Centre to introduce photo identity cards for Tibetan and Nepalese refugees living in the State.

Addressing the Chief Ministers' Conference on Internal Security, Mr Singh said about 23,000 Tibetan refugees and nearly 25,000 Nepalese were living in the state.

''Although the State police, C I D and intelligence agencies are keeping a close watch on their activities, the Union Ministries of External Affairs and Home should take steps to introduce photo identity cards for them,'' he said.

Mr Singh said his Government was spending Rs ten crore annually on deployment of security forces in sensitive areas but only Rs two crore was being reimbursed by the Centre under the security-related expenditure (SRE) scheme.

He asked the Centre to reimburse the entire expenditure under the SRE scheme and sanction of one more battalion of IRB on the inter state border.

The Chief Minister said his Government had deployed eight companies of State Armed Police and one battalion of ITBP on 35 border check posts in Chamba districts at an altitude of 5500- 12500 ft to check infiltration of terrorists from Jammu and Kashmir.

Effective communication system had also been established to seal the border with Jammu and Kashmir, he added.

He Singh said 159 village defence committees, provided with requisite arms and ammunition, had been established in the area UNI

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