As he sits near the carcasses of his cattle, an inconsolable 60-year-old Krishan Lal says he doesn’t know how he will survive after losing his “earning sons” in the heavy firing by Pakistani troops in R S Pura sector Friday night. “For you these are only animals, but for me they were like earning sons. I used to sell their milk for my livelihood. This is the biggest loss of my life,” said Lal in his Kortana Khurd border village.
Lal, a farmer by profession, lost three buffaloes and a cow after a mortar shell fired by the Pakistan Rangers late last night exploded near his cowshed.
The Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy ceasefire violation in the RS Pura sector following BSF’s claim that it had killed seven Pakistan Rangers and a terrorist in retaliatory firing in Ksathua sector after a BSF jawan was seriously injured in a sniper attack from across the border.
Several of the shells fired by the Pakistani troops landed in Korotana Khurd and Budhipur Jattan village in the RS Pura sector last night.
“Though there was no loss of human life, but four cattle were killed and two injured in the firing,” Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Simrandeep Singh said.
Singh said that Pakistan rangers resorted to small arms firing at the Border out Post (BoP) in Abdullian in Suchetgarh sector late last night.
He said that during late night attack, Pakistan Rangers used 60 and 81 mm shells from 11 PM till this morning in the two villages in the RS Pura sector.
People have been advised to stay indoors during the daytime also as there is every likelihood of shelling from the Pakistan side during the day.
He said that the local administration has been asked to close the schools in vulnerable villages as a precautionary measure.
Meanwhile, villagers like Lal have to face the brunt of ceasefire violations with Pakistan. They say that in the past too they have lost several heads of cattle to the cross border firing.
“Farm yield comes once or twice a year, but the milk from these cattle sustains our livelihood by providing a regular monthly income to us. We are poor people and rely on these animals,” a sobbing Lal said.
“A large number of cattle in our village get killed or injured whenever there is a ceasefire violation. During the firing from across the border, the villagers take shelter in bunkers, but the cattle are vulnerable to such attacks,” Kulbir Singh, another border resident, said.
Divisional Commissioner Pawan Kotwal said government provides compensation to border residents if their cattle are killed in cross border firing.
“The concerned deputy commissioner reviews the case and provides compensation to the people who lose their livestock in the cross border firing,” Kotwal said.