Will Not Be Safe Even in Homes if Things Worsen: Residents Along Border Areas Voice Fear Amid India-Pak Tensions
The locals have been advised to stay indoors and schools have been ordered to remain closed. Earlier today, India shot down a Pakistani F-16 jet that violated the Indian air space in retaliatory fire.
Poonch: Families move away from Chhajla Patri village after shelling by the Pakistani Army near the Line of Control (LoC), in the Mankote sector of Poonch, Wednesday, Feb 27, 2019. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: The areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch and Rajouri districts were rattled by cross-border shelling on Tuesday night. Pakistan and India were engaged in heavy shelling after New Delhi India carried out the air strike on a Jaish base in Pakistan. Later in the day, Pakistan vowed to retaliate.
The ministry of external affairs has confirmed that an Indian pilot is missing in action after a Mig-21 Bison fighter plane was lost while engaging with Pakistani jets after they violated Indian airspace on Wednesday.
India had earlier today shot down a Pakistani F-16 jet that violated the Indian air space in retaliatory fire 3km within Pakistan territory in Lam valley, Nowshera sector. Pakistan had claimed to have entered the Indian airspace and dropped bombs. Senior government officials said there were no reports of any casualty.
Though no major casualty was reported in the shelling, yet the people have been living in fear. “There was heavy shelling going on the whole night, though there was no casualty,” said Nasir Khan, a resident of Balakote area in Poonch district, over phone.
The locals have been advised to stay indoors and schools have been ordered to remain closed. “The authorities asked us to remain indoors. But we are not going to be safe even inside our own homes in case things worsen,” Nasir Khan said.
The cross-border tension between India and Pakistan has been taking a toll on the people living the LoC.
The locals say they have been left to fend for themselves. “Every time the ties between two countries become tense, it is a war-like situation for us,” said Tajwinder Singh of Lam village.
“They should decide once for all. We are at the receiving end of the border tensions,” Tajwinder Singh added.
The locals say they don’t want to run away, leaving behind their homes and property. The government too has not issued any advisory for the people. In absence of bunkers, the people are all the more vulnerable.
“There is lack of ambulances in the area which would be required to take the injured to the hospitals,” said Shahzad Malik, a resident of Poonch.
The people have made an appeal to Governor Satya Pal Malik to ensure timely construction of the bunkers for their safety and to send additional medical staff.
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