The Pathankot airbase and the villages around it may be taking baby steps towards normalcy a week after the deadly gunfight, which left seven troopers dead, but the trauma is far from over.
Shops, which were closed for three days after the attack, have opened, and residents of Dhaki and Akalgargh villages adjacent to the airbase, who were either unable to go home due to the heavy deployment of security forces or were too afraid to return, have come back.
Even the families of air force personnel living inside the airbase come out to do the errands, although only from 10am till 6 pm.
“Our customers are not coming to buy things... normalcy is returning,” said Ankit Sareen, a shopkeeper at Dhaki Road, whose customers are mainly air force personnel and their families.
“The shopkeepers dealing with fruits and vegetables faced heavy loss as the goods were spoiled when the shops were closed during the attack.”
But none of the families agreed to speak of what they had witnessed since the encounter started from January 2, as if they were ordered not to do so.
Ankit said all his customers from the airbase were tightlipped and avoided a discussion when asked about what problems they faced.
“Only a few spoke and said they could not feed their babies as there was no milk powder,” Ankit added.
Meanwhile, HT has learnt that the airbase authorities had asked the contractors working inside the airbase to clear the excess material. Also, only a few outsiders were being allowed inside the airbase where construction work is yet to resume.