Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday assured the residents of the border villages, who were moved to relief camps, of “all the help”. He said despite the tension in the Indo-Pak border region, farmers will be allowed to carry on with their agricultural activities. The villages in the border areas are being evacuated in apprehension of retaliation from Pakistan to the Army’s recent surgical strikes on terrorist launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Addressing a gathering during his whirlwind tour of the relief camps in Pathankot district here, Badal said the crops were as dear to the farmers as their children. He said he had spoken to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in this regard, who had immediately directed the Border Security Force (BSF) to allow the farmers of the border region to harvest the crop, adding that the Centre had also permitted those farmers, who had their land across the fence, to reap and lift the crop.
Watch: Farmers near border areas worried for their crops amid Indo-Pak relations
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Describing the border residents of the state as “true patriots”, the chief minister said that braving all the odds, these hardworking sons of the soil contributed immensely towards the development of the state and the country. He added that these bravehearts served their motherland in the true sense by confronting the enemy everyday.
Badal said his government was “duty-bound” to extend a helping hand to these people who had to leave their homes after escalation of tension between India and Pakistan. The chief minister said the villages in the border regions were evacuated as per an advisory of the Centre, adding that he, along with the top brass of his government, was regularly monitoring the arrangements at the relief camps.
Praising the district and police administration for setting up the relief camps, he said every official must serve those at the camps diligently at this hour of crisis.
“There is no need to panic as the state government is committed to serving the bravehearts of the border region,” Badal said. During his visit to the relief camps at Barth Sahib and Bamiyaal, the chief minister interacted with the people there and enquired about the arrangements.
Later, talking to reporters, he said the villages were evacuated to ensure the safety of the residents, adding that in a situation like this, the “enemy” could not be trusted as it could make “any move”.