Even as evacuation within 10 km of the international border has escalated tension in the border district, most people residing in the city were seen celebrating the daredevil operation executed by the Indian Army on Thursday.
The overall mood in the urban area remained upbeat on Friday, with even children coming out to celebrate the befitting reply given to Pakistan for the Uri terror strike.
The panic and chaos being witnessed in villages was in stark contrast with the atmosphere in Amritsar, although people remained glued to their televisions and phones to keep themselves updated about the developments.
The city police, meanwhile, were on alert. Police commissioner AS Chahal confirmed that all officers will remain on duty and all leaves have been cancelled.
At Hall Bazaar, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Laxmi Kanta Chawla and other party leaders got together to celebrate the successful army operation. They also displayed placards commending the Indian Army and the Union government.
There was a celebratory mood in many schools as well, though the attendance at many government schools remained low as students from the rural belt didn’t turn up.
Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Mall Road, principal Mandeep Kaur said: “The attendance has fallen because tension prevails in the rural belt. If similar mood prevails for long, studies will be hampered. This war-like mood is not good for young minds.”
Mandeep Kaur, however, acknowledged that the army strike has made the youth proud.
Some parents, meanwhile, raised concern over scaremongering through text messages and videos on social media.
Economist Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, who is the registrar at Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), said: “We all congratulate the army for its bravery and successful execution of the operation across the border. But we must remember that a warlike situation is never conducive for development.”
Dhillon said tension surrounding evacuation of people from border villages and youngsters talking about war are not “healthy signs” as “war is never a solution and peaceful solutions should be worked out.”
Hockey Olympian Brig Harcharan Singh (retired) said: “Being a former army officer, I compliment the Indian Army for the daredevil operation they have executed. This operation has proved that Indian forces ‘can do it’... The action was highly required.”
On displacement of people in the border belt, he said: “The evacuation is just a precautionary measure, as we are dealing with a neighbour that might react, so we have to keep our guard up. There is nothing to worry, people should not panic. If our neighbouring country is mature, it won’t react.”