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Life near Line of Control: ‘Our lives, our property, nothing is safe’

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Life near Line of Control: Abdul Hamid Khatana, barely escaped the bullets that landed inside his house in a village along the border in Churanda Uri area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla. 

When Groundreport.in spoke with Khatana and he said that his family are among the hundreds of villagers who have fled their homes since India and Pakistan began exchanging heavy gunfire along  the border last week, what is being reported as an “escalation” of hostilities between the two countries .

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“Everybody is terrified here. We are living under constant fear,” Mr Khatana told Groundreport.in, who currently lives in a camp in Uri.

People of Churanda village have to bear the brunt of frequent firing between the army of India and Pakistan. Because of this, hundreds of people have lost their lives on both sides.

Residents of this border village have been forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in the town which is surrounded on three sides by the border.

It has faced the heaviest shelling so far, affecting more than 3000 people, officials told the groundreport.in.

Some villagers told Groundreport.in that the latest violation is the “worst” shelling they have experienced since 2003.
children being evacuated in an ambulance.

More than a thousand people have migrated from just three villages along the border, said officials, adding that they have arranged for ambulances to drive women and children to the camps.

Villagers at the camp told Groundreport.in that entire villages have emptied out as “everybody has left”. It is unclear how many civilians have been hurt or killed because of the shelling.

They are also worried about their homes, livestock and other valuables – all of which they have been forced to leave behind. Some said they came with nothing but the clothes they were wearing at the time.

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“We are living under war-like conditions and suffering,” Lal Din, a resident of Uri, said. “Both sides should think of the people living along the LoC and agree to a truce. 

There is sadness in Churanda, a village in Uri sector of India administered Kashmir. In this village is situated at the height of a hill on the Line of Control.

The people of village have to bear the brunt of frequent firing between the army of India and Pakistan. Because of this, hundreds of people have lost their lives on both sides.

Zahoor becomes latest victim of tense 

63-year-old Zahoor Ahmed has become the most recent victim of this tense atmosphere at the border. Last month, he lost his wife in a mortar attack that fell on his door.

Zahoor stands at his door and points towards the thickly forested hills, saying, “He is the Pakistani part of Kashmir. The name of the village is Khwaja Bandhi. We always live near the river of fire.”

Speaking to Groundreport.in Zahoor said that his wife was pimping chickens at the door when a mortar came from behind rocks.

Zahoor explains, “By the time we thought about taking them to the hospital, she died.” “There has never been a road here. It is just like a trail through the middle of the hill. We have to carry the injured on the cot and take them to the hospital in Uri through the jungles”

Panic again people 

Abdul Qayoom is worried about where the bombs , he said that “there is panic now, people are terrified. “We are not safe here. Some people are preparing to relocate, but what about the poor?” He added “we think that now Pakistan army will also target us, our lives, our property is not safe at all”.

Pakistan army targeted villages
Younis Malik from the same village said, “Pakistan army has been targeting him for a long time. They still keep attacking thinking that the camp exists here but the Indian army left this place long ago. They did it from the other side We are the victims of the attack going on. “

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He added that some some of elders in his village have urged the authorities to take precautionary measures regarding safety.
The government has taken immediate steps on this and has given orders to build a bunker in the village. 

Line of control

The control line is not just a single line visible on the map. It is an area of ​​650 miles long and 25 miles wide in which thousands of people live on both sides. The people living here always live in the shadow of fear.

India and Pakistan agreed to a cease-fire in 2003 but tensions still persist and the two continue to accuse each other of breaking the ceasefire. 

Last month, the Home Minister said in Parliament that Pakistan has violated the ceasefire 3000 times in nine months so far this year.

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