Amid eerie calm, border residents battle war fear

FPJ BureauUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 12:19 PM IST
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Jammu : People living in border areas in Jammu region don’t want to take any chance and are moving to safer places even as an eerie calm prevail here after Saturday’s ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops who targeted Indian posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Akhnoor tehsil. “We have seen in the past how Pakistan backstabs us and targets civilians, even as they have stopped firing since last night, but we don’t want to take any chance,” said Surat Singh, a resident of Pallanwala village in Akhnoor.

Also Read : Punjab orders evacuation of villages in 10-km border belt

The residents of the villages along the border say that they are worried about their future as their standing crop would get damaged if they don’t tend to it in the next few days.

“People are concerned here. Yesterday, Pakistan targeted civilian areas in our sector. After that, we have decided to shift our children, female members and elders to safer locations,” said Daya Ram, a resident of Pargwal village in Khour tehsil. He said the male members who stay back in their villages during the daytime take shelter in the government set up camps at night.

“We have to take care of our livestock, so we return to the village in the daybreak and then come back in the camps during night. We have shifted our family members to our relatives’ houses in Jammu city,” Prem Singh, another resident of the village said.

He said the people are worried about the education of their children as they had to abandon their studies midway to relocate to safer locations.

Pakistan has stepped up cross-border firing after the surgical strikes on September 29 by the India Army to destroy terror launchpads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. Soon after the announcement of the strikes was made by the DGMO, the authorities in Jammu region asked the people to shift to safer locations. As a precautionary measure, the authorities have ordered the indefinite closure of all educational intuitions in the border areas. “We don’t know how long this tension is going to prevail. We want the authorities to make arrangements for the education of our children, we don’t want their studies to become a causality of the growing tension between the two countries,” said Naseeb Singh, a resident of Pallanwala.  The Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Sunday toured the border areas and took a firsthand view of the arrangements that have been put in place at the safe camps for the border residents.

Baljinder Singh, in-charge of the safe camp at Bana Singh Stadium at RS Pura that has been set up to cater 1000 people from five villages said the number of people increases during the night and some of them return to their villages during the day. “The number of people increases during the night as they come to take shelter here and the male members return to their villages during the day to take care of their livestock,” Singh said.–PTI

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