Life in border villages of Amritsar and Tarn Taran continued as usual even as local officials in both districts held meetings to be ready in case of evacuation orders being issued.
Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Shivdular Singh Dhillon said: “There have been no evacuation orders so far. But we have asked officials to be ready with the data that we may require in such a situation.”
Officials were busy dusting files which were prepared to make arrangements for setting up the camps followed by evacuation orders for the border villages in Punjab after 2016 surgical strike. An officer said, “I have been asked to report tomorrow to discuss the scenario in case of evacuation orders.”
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh also plans to visit border districts on Wednesday.
“We do not want to create panic because so far we have no orders to evacuate people from the villages, but such situation may arise and for that we have asked our officials to make preparations in advance, so that we can react quickly,” said another official.
A villager, Baldev Singh, from Rajatal said, “War is never good news for any border village. When our homes were kaccha, it was difficult to leave the house, but it was easy to carry out repairs. Now, we all have pakka houses, we don’t know what will happen in case of war.”
Farmers who have land across the fencing on International Border were stopped from visiting their fields on Tuesday. “Our crops were ready when the surgical strike was done in 2016. Now again wheat will be ready for harvest in a month. If evacuation happens, our crops will hit,” said farmer Randeep Singh, who has land across the fencing.
A DIG-level BSF officer said: “We stopped farmers from visiting the fields as there is alert on the border. We have been making assessment of the situation and next decision will be taken accordingly. We have increased our patrolling.”—With inputs from ENS Chandigarh