With Pakistan Rangers resorting to shelling in Kathua and Samba districts on the border along Jammu and Kashmir, the army has alerted the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Punjab Police to step up vigilance on the state’s border with Pakistan.
The three-ring cordon to guard the border has the BSF, the Punjab Police and the army coordinating and exchanging information.
The BSF and the state police are meeting regularly and the outcome of these meetings is being held secret to prevent panic from spreading among villagers. DSP Parbhjot Virk, who looks after the area of Bamial and Narot Jaimal Singh on the border, said, “The situation is tense, but under control. The army has not moved on to the border, as this is usually done in war-like situations. The BSF is doing its job.”
When contacted, army spokesperson Naresh Vig said the army always remained on alert. On whether there had been any movement from Pakistan on the Punjab border, he said, “The BSF is doing its job and we remain on standby.”
With many relatives of villagers on the Punjab border living in Kathua, a few from J&K have shifted to these villages over the past few days.
The villages on the border appear calm at the moment but battle-hardened locals, who have weathered a number of such situations, claimed that they preferred to stay put, even in war-like situations, to support the army and the BSF jawans.
Jagdish Lal, a resident of Sangol village, 100m from the Pakistan border, says, “The BSF and the army will not allow the enemy to make inroads. The topography is different from J&K and villagers will always support our jawans.”