Residents of Birring village have raised their voice against the recent decision of the army to ban the entry of civilians in the cantonment from the road approaching the village by putting down the barriers from 10 pm to 6 am, reportedly, due to security reasons.
Local councillor Gurmej Kaur has complained to station commander Jalandhar cantonment on the issue.
"The display board showing ban on civilians is humiliating. Families of several ex-servicemen live in our village and adjoining areas and this ban could prove dangerous to their lives, when in need of urgent medical help. A military hospital is situated in the cantonment and residents have to travel more to reach the hospital from the other path. This could be dangerous and could lead to a fatality," she said.
"Even students going for tuitions and residents out for a stroll in the morning are not allowed to enter in the cantonment before 6 am."
"This is the sheer injustice with the residents, who have been suffering. Security might be a concern, but this blanket ban on civilian entry is uncalled for. Nobody wanders and strolls in the area. If somebody approaches the barriers, the authorities should try to understand his need and allow entry if the need seems genuine," said Jarnail Singh, a local resident.
Defence PRO Naresh Vig said, "We have not banned the entry of civilians from any gate. However, to ensure security, we have restricted access in-and-out of the cantonment during nights."
"Even in private colonies, people erect gates close the same with restricted access in the area. Here, the matter relates to the security of army, so we have only restricted the access. There is absolutely no attempt to degrade civilians or to keep civilians out of the cantonment," he added.