Fear looms large over border hamlets after Pak firing



Abdullian: Peace along the Indo-Pak border has been shattered by increased incidents of firing and mortar shelling by Pakistani troops along International Border (IB) triggering terror among local dwellers.

Fear is writ large on the faces of the border people, including women and children in Abdullian and Chandu Chak hamlets barely one km away from the zero line, after recent heavy and unprovoked firing and shelling of mortars in which a jawan was killed.

Houses bore the brunt of the shelling and heavy weapon firing as walls of the houses in twin border hamlets along IB in R S Pura sector had bullet and splinter marks. Such incidents have witnessed for the first time in this sector after 2003 Indo-Pak truce.

"Fear has gripped us after heavy and unprovoked firing and shelling by Pakistan, which not only targeted Border Out Posts (BOPs) but also border villages since August 16," Chandu Chak resident, Desh Raj told a visiting PTI correspondent today.

"We fear if the ceasefire breaks, we will face the worst situation again. We will have to migrate to safe areas in that case as Pakistan used to fire on villages and scores of people were killed and injured in such firing and shelling in the past", he said.

In a similar refrain, Milkhi Ram said, "Firing and shelling by Pakistan reminds us of 1999 and 2000 situation."

Puran Chand and Mohan Lal of Abdullian village said, "Our families and cattle have been targets of Pak Rangers. Authorities failed to save us in past. "Government had promised us to give lands at safe places nearly 8 years ago, but they have not fulfilled it and now we again face the same situation," they said.

Meanwhile, Medical Education Minister R S Chib, who made visited the border hamlets, appealed to the people living in those areas to maintain calm and should not leave their villages.

PTI