As the troops of Border Security Force (BSF) patrol along the fence during the night hours, the villagers in this border area are doing the same to keep anti-social elements at bay as a large number of families have moved to safer places.
With the border fence lit up with floodlights in the background, a group of youngsters carrying sticks and rods in hand at Roranwala village remain awake through the night to ensure that the locked houses are not burgled. Following the surgical strikes at terrorist camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) by India, families had moved away with the little they could carry along, leaving the hard-earned riches behind, apprehending retaliation from the other side.
Village youth Navjot Singh said, “We remain awake for the safety of our village. Many people have left the village and we are here to safeguard their properties from theft.”
“Security is an issue. Cops hardly come during the night and if any police vehicle comes, it leaves immediately. So, it is our duty to keep our village safe,” he added.
Another resident, Bittu says, “People have left the village in a hurry but their crops and cattle are here. We cannot ignore the fact that their properties can be ransacked, crops damaged and belongings stolen. Will anyone pay us back?” he said.
Joginder Singh, a resident of Chak Alla Baksh village, said, “This is a major concern. Government has just asked us to move away from the border. But has the government thought about the safety of our houses and belongings. Many people stay awake to ensure safety of their lives and belongings.”
Police administration though claimed that cops have been deployed to ensure safety at night, but people still feel that more needs to be done.