Doubting Pak intention, migrants refuse to return

  • Tarun Upadhyay, Hindustan Times, RS Pura
  • Updated: Oct 10, 2014 19:23 IST

Even after guns have fallen silent along the border, giving a semblance of peace, thousands of people, who had earlier left their homes and taken shelter in camps, are unwilling to return to their homes. They are sceptical about the intention of Pakistan and not willing to take chances anymore.

"I have been forced to move out for about 10 times in my life so far. The firing this time was probably the heaviest. It has become a vicious cycle. It has to stop and unless it happens, I will not return
at least this time," said Chan Kapoor (80), a resident of Abdullian village along the border.

The Industrial Training Institute (ITI) RS Pura, where he along with 1,000 other people from the border villages of RS Pura are staying for the last five days, has become a second home for them.

Like him, almost all were putting up here in August also, when Pakistan fired for 45 days, the biggest and longest firing after the Bangladesh War, as claimed by the Border Security Force.

About 30,000 people have fled from their border homes along the 192-km international border. Even on Thursday evening, the Pakistani troops trained guns on the Hiranagar sector, making people more skeptical about its intentions.

"In August also Pakistan had agreed to stop firing. Hardly had we stayed back in our homes for a month when it again started pounding us. We can't rely on its intention with just a brief spell of peace," said Sewa Ram, a village guard of Chandu-Chak panchayat.

People say they can't take risk of moving back so soon, because when the firing starts, it's difficult to move out as there is chaos all around.

"The roads get blocked and the movement is restricted. The government has provided us all basic amenities. But they fall short of homely comforts," said another migrant.

The pain and helplessness of forced migration, a regular phenomenon, is gradually turning into anger and
frustration among the migrants.

"The administration asked us to vacate home. The government itself is not sure on the return of peace. We haven't heard of even a flag-meeting. So, what do you expect from us? Unless we are officially asked to move back, all of us will continue to stay here," said Ajeet Singh (70), a resident of Chandu-Chak village.

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