Amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, Border residents fear peace may not return soon

Tension prevailed along the International border of Jammu frontier following hot skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani border guards during the last 48 hours.

INDIA PAK Loc PoonchAfter exchanging heavy volume of fire late Thursday night Pak rangers once again violated ceasefire agreement  by opening ‘unprovoked’ firing  in Pargwal and RS Pura sectors on Friday sending shock wave among the border residents.The firing which started around 6.30 p.m was going on intermittently as late as 10.30 p.m.
The recent exchange of firing has already triggered panic reaction among the border residents and affected their routine life. Pak rangers had earlier targeted civilians moving in their fields in Pargwal and RS Pura sector on Thursday.
Meanwhile, tension gripped the Hansoo chak border village in RS Pura area and many local residents shifted their children and women to safer places fearing escalation of tension in the area after Pak targeted the Indian post with mortar shells. Earlier in the day on Thursday three children were injured in Najwal area of Pargwal in Akhnoor when a shell exploded near their house.
On Friday,BSF officers even advised the villagers not to venture out of their houses and if possible to stay indoors as they fear fresh exchange of border fire in the area.
Balvinder Singh, a local shopkeeper in RS Pura area said, “the situation is tense along the border and routine life has been hit hard following fresh exchange of border fire”.
He said the villagers cannot visit their fields during day time for fear of getting trapped in the cross border fire.
In the night we keep awake to ensure safety of our children and live stock,he added.
“We have spotted several mortar shells in and around our village.We are praying hard that none of the local resident is affected by the border firing”,said another villagers Sukhvinder.The local villagers also displayed empty bullets after collecting them from their courtyard and fields.
On the other hand the BSF has also taken strong note of the border firing in which two BSF jawans were injured.
To contain public anger in forward border villages a high level team of district authorities led by Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Divisional Commissioner Shantmanu, Deputy  Commissioner Ajeet K Sahu,IG Jammu ranger Rajesh Kumar and others visited the Pargwal area and  assured them all possible help.Deputy CM also advised the civil and police officers to gear up their machinery in the wake of repeated incidents of ceasefire violations along the IB.

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