Pak shelling deprives border residents of Diwali festivity
STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Thousands of border residents are all set to celebrate ‘dark’ Diwali away from their homes.
On Saturday, senior district authorities had communicated to the border residents not to stay in forward villages in anticipation of fresh flare up of border tension in the wake of beheading of another Indian soldier in Machhal sector of Kupwara.
Hundreds of border residents, who were staying put in their homes after shifting their families, were also asked to shift to safer places or spend the night inside bunkers to prevent loss of any human life.
Large number of border residents had already shifted their live stock to safer places after more than 300 of them were affected by intense Pak shelling.
“We will not be celebrating Diwali at our homes because we have been told to stay away from forward villages by the local authorities fearing fresh escalation” a villager in Abdulian told The STATE TIMES.
According to official sources, more than 90 forward villages along the International Border and Line of control were vacated on the eve of festival of lights.
The local police and other government authorities were directed to remain alert to respond to any exigency. On account of border tension even the local markets in the nearby areas wore a deserted look as all those displaced people were in no mood to celebrate Diwali as they have been suffering for a long time and staying away from their homes for safety. The situation in the worst affected villages of RS Pura Sector was grim as only handful of villagers were seen in the area while the situation along the forward villages across the LoC was equally grim. One civilian was killed in the Chamb area in intense Pak shelling on Friday. Pak army has been pounding these areas using long range mortars and deliberately hitting the civilian pockets. The shelter centres have been attracting large number of border residents in the Pallanwala Sector of AKhnoor and houses remain locked.