SRINAGAR: Around 7000 persons been affected by Pakistani troops firing and mortar shelling along Line of Control (LoC) in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir and over a thousand border residents have migrated have migrated to safer places.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Baramulla, Naseer Ahmad Naqash told the New Indian Express that Uri witnessed heavy firing and mortar shelling from the Pakistani troops today.
“It was the heaviest of the last few days,” he said.
The Uri sector has been witnessed continuous firing and shelling from Pakistani troops since February 20.Naqash said the cross-LoC shelling has affected a population of around 7000 in six villages of Uri sector.
He said over a thousand people have migrated from the three villages of Chrunda, Silikote and Kamalkote and moved to safer places.
“Around 500 to 600 persons from these villages have migrated on their own while another 500 to 600 have been shifted by the government to Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Uri,” he said.
The DC said government has set up a camp for these people and is providing boarding and lodging to the border residents.
He said everyone in the affected villages has been cautioned that it would be better for them to migrate from the villages.
Muhammad Yaqoob, a resident of Balakote village in Uri sector, told Express over phone that the villagers were terrorized as the shells from across the LoC had landed in their houses.
He called upon the government to provide alternate accommodations to the affected population.
“The villagers have abandoned their villages as they did not feel safe to live there amidst continuous cross-LoC firing and shelling,” Yaqoob said.
Lal Hussain Kohli, a resident of Chrunda village in Uri sector said the shelling since February 20 was the heaviest since 2003, when India and Pakistan agreed on border ceasefire.
“We fear if we live there, we will die. The entire villages apart from the elderly are empty,” he said.
Kohli said the shelling continued throughout the day today.
With the people coming under fire, the residents have pitched for resumption of dialogue process between India and Pakistan for return of peace along the frontiers.
“We are witnessing a war-like situation,” said Lal Din, a resident of Silikote, Uri.
He said they had come to know that people on Pakistani side have been told by Pakistani army to shift to safer places as the hostilities may flare up.
“Instead of letting the situation go out of hand, Indian and Pakistani government should hold talks and uphold the border ceasefire,” Din said.
Local also criticized the PDP-BJP coalition government and the opposition legislator Muhammad Shafi Uri saying none had come to see their condition since the escalation of hostilities.
“They only come to us for votes,” said Shabir Ahmad of Silikote.
He said the people living along the frontiers are the worst hit by the India-Pakistan hostilities and it would be better for the two countries to end the hostilities and start a dialogue process so that border residents on both sides of LoC live in peace.