Though no firing has been exchanged so far between India and Pakistan at the international border of Bamial sector, the locals are ready to deal with any situation.
While the BSF is alert on the posts, the local police are holding meetings to educate the locals on what to do in case the Punjab borders also face a situation like that of Jammu and Kashmir, where Pakistan has been violating the ceasefire for the past many days and targeting civil areas with heavy shelling.
Sabih Singh, a local from Paharipur village, situated 300 metre from the border, told HT that he had seen wars between India and Pakistan and the villagers had not let down the Indian forces by leaving the place but had preferred to extend wholehearted support to them in times of crises.
Jagdish Lal of Sangol village, situated 100 metre from the border, claimed that when their sons in the forces could fight back the enemy with courage, how could they act like cowards and abandon them in war-like situations? When asked as to how could they help the forces, he said they kept a watch on unidentified people's presence, who could be sneakers from Pakistani beside.
Balbir Singh, who heads the Border Security Force (BSF) in the Bamial sector, claimed that so far not even a single firing was exchanged, but his boys were ready to deal with any eventuality. He said round-the-clock vigil was being maintained at every post and they were ready to meet any situation.
He said every effort was being made to plug the 700-metre porous border where fencing was not possible due to the situation because of the Ravi and Ujj rivers. He said his force was assisting farmers who were going with them to ensure free movement up to their fields. This is international border and they were well equipped for any eventuality, he said.
DSP Parabhjot Singh Virk of Punjab Police, who looks after the area near the border, claimed that as per the instructions of Pathankot SSP Rakesh Kaushal his force was educating the locals on the dos and don'ts in a war-like situation. He said that due to no fence in almost 700 metres in this part of the border there remained a chance of some sneakers and the locals were a major tool to check them.
He said that in the past, these villagers had helped catch the infiltrators, so they played an important role. "We are also telling them how to behave in case firing starts and they are also cooperating with us," he added. "We exchange daily information with our BSF counterparts. Everything is under control as villagers here are patriotic," he said.