Villagers along LoC apprehensive to return home despite less shelling

Abdullian: Residents of border villages in Jammu who were displaced due to the recent Pakistani shelling say they are too scared to return home despite de-escalation in firing from across the border.
“We don’t trust Pakistan anymore, they have killed innocent civilians by targeting villages. Who knows… This decline in shelling from their side might be a ploy to cause maximum damage after people return to their houses,” Ravinder Kumar, a resident of Abdullian village which is situated along the International Border, said.
Several residents of villages in RS Pura sector, which is situated along the border, migrated to safer locations following the unprecedented cross-border shelling from the Pakistani side.
“Pakistan has a history of betrayal. In the past too they have resorted to targeting the civilian population without any provocation. Even if the guns from either sides completely fall silent, we will not trust Pakistan this time,” Vishal Kumar, a resident of RS Pura, said.
Residents of Arnia, one of the worst-hit areas of the shelling, also said that they do not want to risk their lives by returning to their homes now.
“Returning to our houses right now means risking our lives. We don’t trust the Pakistani side anymore,” said Tarsem Singh, a resident of Arnia who shifted to Jammu city, said.
Arnia sub-sector became one of the worst-hit areas after the Pakistani side resorted to unprovoked firing earlier this week. Five residents were killed whereas 34 others were injured in overnight shelling in the area.
“People have abandoned their houses and are scared to return. How can one expect us to return this early?” he said.
Residents of the border areas have kept their fingers crossed and are praying for complete restoration of ceasefire along the border before they could think of returning home.
After nine days of heavy firing and mortar shelling from across the border, firing de-escalated along the 192-km long International Border in Jammu frontier overnight.
Pakistan, however, opened fire on four border outposts in Kathua district. There was no firing along the IB in the Jammu and Samba districts.


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