LoC tension: Villagers along border face brunt
Sarya (Jammu and Kashmir): Amid rising tensions between India and Pakistan, villagers residing close to the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir are facing the brunt of continuous firing from both sides of the subcontinental divide.
Mangat Ram, a government schoolteacher here, said the continuous shelling has completely hampered the education of children in the region.
“We are under constant fear of ceasefire violation by Pakistan, which may lead to loss to our children and our houses. Our school is also close to the border. So, we request our government to hold talks with Pakistan and ask them to continue with the peaceful situation that was prevailing since last ten years,” said Ram.
Ram Prasad, former village head of Sarya, said they are now forced to migrate citing threat to life.
“The Army is providing us with facilities and help but still the children are scared to go to school or study. The continuous firing has instilled panic in our hearts. In 2001, we were forced to migrate and till date we have not been able to settle properly. People who took loan to construct their houses are again packing bags to migrate,” said Prasad.
“The decisions regarding the borders must be under the control of the army and not the politicians. If the army will have the power of decision making, then only tough action would be taken against Pakistan,” said Purushottam Lal, a local.
Adding to the tensions, troops from both sides exchanged machinegun fire across the border in Poonch sector for more than two hours on Tuesday night.
However, according to the officials, no one was injured and no property was damaged during the latest shooting.
The ceasefire in Kashmir has been effective since November 2003, surviving even the crisis after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, but the recent violation and brutal killing of two Indian jawans by Pakistani troops on January 8 has worsened the situation.
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