Several villages along the International Border in the RS Pura sector wear a deserted look as the residents after spending two nights of horror decided to migrate to safer places after Pakistan violated the ceasefire, targeting the civilian population. As one enters the border villages, locked doors can be seen and an eerie silence prevails that is punctuated by the sporadic noise of bullets or mortar bombs. “We spent the past two nights in horror, when bombs fired from the Pakistani side landed on our houses and in our front yards.
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“We thought that it might pass away, but today we decided to move out and shift to safer place”, Bhushan Kumar, a resident of Korotana Khurd village, said. Most of the houses in this village have been abandoned as the residents have migrated to safer places to save themselves from the ceasefire violation from the Pakistani side.
Even as the community bunkers made by the government have become a second home for a large number of border residents a large number have preferred to migrate to safer places, including the houses of their relatives.
“While majority of the villagers have left for safer locations, one or two men have stayed back in every village so as to provide fodder to the cattle.
“We are risking our lives to feed our cattle”, Vikram Singh, a resident of Budhipur village, said.
People here say that they can repair the damage caused to their houses once the situation improves, but if they lose their life in the firing they are not going to get it back.
“In the past too several people in this belt have lost their lives due to the firing from across the border. Houses can be rebuilt but life once lost cannot come back, so we have decided to move out”, Harbans Lal a resident of Abdullian village, who along with his family was on his way to Jammu to stay with a relative, said.
“Several houses in the border belt here have been damaged due to the shelling from across the border.
“We were lucky that we had already left our house when last night a bomb exploded on the roof of our house, creating a big hole in it.Had we been inside we would have been harmed”, Lal said.
In the past 24 hours ten civilians including seven women members of one family have been injured due to the ceasefire violations in RS Pura sector. The injured are undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College and Hospital Jammu.
The district administration has instructed closure of educational institutions in the border areas and have asked the people to remain cautious.
“People in the border villages have already left for safer locations. Whenever there is firing from across the border, they don’t wait for the instructions from the district administration.
“A large number of people have already taken shelter at safer places and some have shifted to the houses of their relatives”, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Jammu, Simrandeep Singh said.
Several villages, who have left their houses, say they would only return when there is permanent peace on the border as they don’t want to risk their lives to the Pakistani fire.
The border residents also rue that they have not been given the plots promised by the state government.
“Every time there is a ceasefire violation we have to migrate from our houses, if we were given the promised plots at safe places we would have constructed our houses.Now we will only return once there is permanent peace on the border”, Chuni Lal, a resident of Abdullian, said.
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