EVEN AS Pakistani troops continued firing mortar shells along the LoC in Pallanwala-Sunderbani area for the second day on Tuesday, over 1 lakh people are estimated to have attended the annual Jhiri mela here at Shama Chak, barely 2 km from the international border in Kanachak sector.
Following shelling by Pakistani troops, which left a civilian, Mangat Ram, injured in adjoining Khour, the Jammu district administration, as a precautionary measure, had cancelled the cultural programme and a play on Monday. The district administration also issued an advisory to people living within 2 km from the border to remain indoors in case of shelling.
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On Tuesday, however, the otherwise sleepy village turned into a sea of people.
The nine-day festival is expected to be attended by 8-10 lakh people from across north India to pay obeisance to Baba Jitta and his daughter Bua Kaury, who, it is believed, sacrificed their lives fighting injustice meted out to farmers hundreds of years ago.