SGPC calls back its men from relief camps as people return home

Evacuation orders are still in place for areas up to 10 km from the international border following Indian strikes in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

Written by KAMALDEEP SINGH BRAR | Amritsar | Updated: October 13, 2016 3:33 pm
Villagers leave a relief camp in Fazilka. Express Villagers leave a relief camp in Fazilka. Express

On the day schools reopened in border villages, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) decided to call back its officials deployed in relief camps as most people in these camps have returned home.

Evacuation orders are still in place for areas up to 10 km from the international border following Indian strikes in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

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SGPC was running the biggest camp for the evacuated people at Barth Sahib Gurudwara in Pathankot district, housing around 1,000 people.

A number of other gurdwaras in the border belt were also converted into relief camps. Additional Secretary, SGPC, Daljit Singh Bedi said, “Worried about their crops, animals and houses, the natives of border villages have been returning to their homes. Our employees working in relief camps have sent us reports that things are better now. Our relief camp at Barth Sahib Gurdwara housed maximum people, most of whom have now gone back.” SGPC was also providing food to the men who had decided to stay put in their villages and sent women and children to the relatives’ place or relief camps.

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‘Evacuation orders still in place’

On the evacuation orders, Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam said: “Evacuation orders will remain in place till next orders from the Ministry of Home affairs. It is true that most people have left the relief camps and gone home. But a high alert is still there and hence relief camps will be there till evacuation orders are in place. There was high shelling in Jammu today and it is not more than 200 kilometers from Amritsar. Tourists entry for the retreat ceremony will also remain closed as this function is conducted just on the zero line.”