Arnia: Pinning their hope on the upcoming Assembly elections, people living in areas along the Indo-Pak border say they will vote for a party which will guarantee their rehabilitation to "safer places".
"There are various issues, but we will only vote for the candidates who will assure us of concrete steps (of rehabilitation) for bright future of the border residents," Arnia-dweller Preetam Chand, whose shop was damaged by a Pakistani mortar bomb, said.
Chand, who has recently returned home after fortnight -long shelling and firing from across the border forced his family to take shelter in a migrant camp in October, voices opinion similar to a large number of border people whose priority seems to be their "safety" from Pakistan's misadventures.
"We have been demanding a five marla plot in safer areas and we will elect the candidate who can get us the land in safer areas," Chand said.
Just a month ago the residents of this border belt were uncertain about their future after they became victim to the continuous ceasefire violations from across the border, but for a "bright future" these border residents now have high hopes on the Assembly elections.
"We have lots of expectations from the Assembly elections and we will elect a leader who can become the voice of the border residents, who can understand our pain and agony as we become sitting ducks every time hostilities between the two nations increase," said Manohar Singh, another resident of Arnia who along with his family had to take shelter in a camp after Pakistani troops attacked their village on October 5.
Thousands of residents of this border belt were forced to leave their houses to take shelter in government-run relief camps after Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing which killed around 11 people and injured nearly 100 on the Indian side.