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Brief lull on border, eerie calm in villages in Jammu region

Over 200 educational institutes within five km radius of the border remained closed for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday in Jammu, Samba, and Kathua districts in view of Pakistani shelling.

india Updated: May 24, 2018 20:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Ceasefire violation,LoC,Border
A man offers namaz near his partially damaged mud house after heavy shelling from the Pakistani side along the international border, at Jora farm village of R S Pura, in Jammu, on Thursday.(PTI Photo)

A brief lull after nine days of intense shelling by Pakistan on Thursday gave time to a family in RS Pura sector in Jammu district to cremate one of its members who was killed on Wednesday.

Raghubir Singh, 50, was cremated at RS Pura amid wails of family members, relatives and friends.

Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta, PHE minister Sham Choudhary, BJP MP Jugal Kishore and state BJP president Ravinder Raina were among those who attended Raghubir Singh’s last rites.

Meanwhile, an eerie calm prevailed in forward villages and hamlets along the international border where people are still skeptical about the fragile peace.

“Majority of the people are still avoiding spending nights in their houses on the border. Before dusk, families, mostly women, children and elderly return to their relatives’ houses or camps,” said Bishan Dass, 45 of Arnia town.

“All activities like farming, schooling and cattle rearing have come to a grinding halt. Yet again we have been reduced to refugees in our own country,” he added.

Intense Pakistani shelling since May 15 had left 12 dead and 56 injured in the three districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua.

The dead also include two BSF jawans Devendra Singh Baghel and Sita Ram Upadhayaya.

Deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta said Pakistan was in the habit of violating the ceasefire.

“We can’t stop Pakistan but we can certainly create a tough situation for it. Our security forces are retaliating strongly to their firing,” he said.

He also said that work on bunkers for the villagers all along the border will begin soon. Simultaneously, the government will also provide compensation to the affected villagers, he added.

State BJP president Ravinder Raina said, “Pakistan is a terrorist country and cannot be trusted. Pakistan is the biggest enemy of Islam and Muslims in the entire world.”

Although Pakistani shelling and firing stopped on Wednesday afternoon along the international border, the Pakistani army fired and shelled Lam and Nowshera sectors of Rajouri district in the night in which one civilian was injured.

Over one lakh people have migrated from their villages all along the international border in the latest spell of Pakistani firing.

Over 200 educational institutes within five km radius of the border remained closed for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday in Jammu, Samba, and Kathua districts in view of Pakistani shelling.

First Published: May 24, 2018 20:47 IST