The Jammu and Kashmir government has in the recent past shifted more than three thousand families living in the border areas of Jammu, including Poonch, Rajouri and Samba districts, to safer places after shelling by Pakistani forces intensified. All educational institutions have been shut for a week in Arenia sector of Jammu district on the International Border.
On Friday, India-Pakistan shelling continued as officials claimed that they have evacuated as many as 727 border dwellers. While Pakistan has said that Indian shelling has killed six Pakistani civilians and injured 20 others, the DGMOs of both the countries talked tough to each other. The DGMO has told Pakistan that India reserves the right to attack and respond to the shelling in the border areas.
Around 10 civilians were injured in Pakistani shelling in the past two days. In the past one week, there has been continuous firing and shelling by the Pakistani troops along IB and LoC in Jammu, forcing hundreds of families to flee to safer places. The students in the border areas of Jammu have suffered immensely in the current year as schools were often shut because of intermittent shelling done by Pakistani troops. “Our agriculture, cattle and now our children are suffering and the government is doing nothing to mitigate our sufferings,” complained Ram Swarup, a border resident in Jammu while talking to this reporter over phone. Recently, the displaced border residents met Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his four-day visit to the state and he assured them land and safe bunkers.
According to Jammu district authorities, they have closed 50 schools in the border belt of Arenia sector. These schools have 6,000 students. J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has appealed to the forces to stop cross border shelling while she was on a visit to Tanghdar near the Line of Control in Kupwara.