'Freedom' Day for Punjab Village Sandwiched at Border

Bhagat Singh’s martydom day, Shaheed Diwas, turned into a freedom of sorts for 800 residents of Mohar Jamsher village.

Published: 27th March 2016 08:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th March 2016 08:56 AM   |  A+A-

FREEDOM

Bhagat Singh’s martydom day, Shaheed Diwas, turned into a freedom of sorts for 800 residents of Mohar Jamsher village, sandwiched by Pakistan on three sides and by the Sutlej river on the Indian side. On March 23—the day when the freedom fighter was hanged by the British in 1931—the Border Security Force (BSF) removed the fences that hemmed the village on the border in Fazilka sub-division of Punjab since 1995 and allowed the residents to venture out of their homes after sunset. The BSF had a post 36 metres away, and used to close the village gate at sunset. Visitors were checked, and 1,000 acres of the village’s agricultural land fenced out by the security force. After the removal of the fence, just 50 acres is fenced. “We had a hard time during monsoons when the pontoon bridge erected by the army used to be removed. We had to use boats to go to the mainland. Two years ago, the BSF built a bridge, on which entry was regulated. We had been asking the government to lift this restriction, which has finally happened,” said Chhina Singh, sarpanch of the Mohar Jamsher. For weddings and other functions, the villagers had to go to neighbouring villages. The village got its geographical position after India gave the land to Pakistan in exchange for land near Hussainiwala in 1961.    

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