Incidents of mass evacuation of elderly, women and children living in border villages are being reported in Ferozepur and Fazilka districts on Friday.
As per conversation with district authorities and villagers, about 15,000 persons of 365 villages (touching Pakistan in 85km) in Ferozepur and 10,000 persons of 125 border villages in Fazilka district have moved to safer places.
The administration of duo districts has set up rehabilitation camps with 40 at Ferozepur and 30 camps at Fazilka.
According to the last information 250 people have reported at camps in Ferozepur and 1,500 in Fazilka.
“From last two days we have not heard sound of ‘azzan’, which earlier used to be held daily across the line by Pak residents.There is an evident escalation in enemy’s security agencies,” revealed Jaswant Singh, 58, of Hazara Singh wala village, located less than a kilometer from Indo-Pak border in Ferozepur.
“Due to cattle and ripe paddy crop, most of men and youngsters are staying back. We are also assisting security agencies to keep guard at night,” said Satnam Singh, another border resident.
“We are setting up a cluster system at Ferozepur to monitor and coordinate relief work for affected villagers,” revealed an official pleading anonymity.
In the meantime, senior functionary of state government including principal secretary R Venkat Ratnam along with Ferozepur divisional commissioner VK Meena, and AVenu Parshad held separate meetings with senior civil, police and army authorities of Ferozepur as well as Fazilka districts on Friday.
They took stock of the situation and pressed upon officials to frequently review the situation.
Inspector general Bathinda zone, SK Asthana accompanied by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ferozepur RK Bakshi, claimed that patrolling parties have been formed to ensure security of gurudwaras and other religious places.
Meanwhile Deputy inspector general of police (DIG) Ferozepur range Ranbir Singh, and SSP Fazilka Narinder Bhargav, inspected border areas of Fazilka.
It may here be said that during 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak war, enemy had housed in areas vacated by Indian villagers. “Petrol pumps have dried due to huge rush,” said a petrol pump owner on the condition of anonymity.
The retreat ceremony at the Indo-Pak border has been cancelled.