Churunda residents living on the edge

CAUGHT IN CROSS-FIRE

Greater Kashmir / Greater Kashmir
Publish Date: Nov 12 2012 12:00PM

Churunda (Uri), Nov 10: Churunda village near the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir's Baramulla district is home to about 160 people. The villagers have found the peace shattered since October 3 when shells started raining here from across the border from Pakistan.
 People either entering or leaving the village have to record their names and addresses at the gate near the entrance, manned by the Indian Army.
 The LoC fencing, made of coils of concertina wire, forms the other extreme end of the village.
 Life was going on smoothly in Churunda village, thanks to the ceasefire agreement signed by India and Pakistan in November 2003.
 That normalcy now lies shattered.
 Three villagers were killed in Churunda Oct 16, when Rangers violated the ceasefire and fired artillery shells towards the village.
 "Nobody dares come to our village since Oct 3, when the first shells fell in our village. We lost three persons because of this shelling and it has been since intermittently continuing. We are totally shattered. The authorities must do something to stop this," said Abdul Rashid Khatana, 75, the village headman.
 Bashir Ahmad Khan, 45, another villager, said rations and medical supplies to the village remain disrupted after the ceasefire violations.
 "No government official has come to our village after the shelling. We are running short of rations, medicines and other essentials," Khan said.
 As the two armies exchange fire, the people of Churunda live on the edge, literally, so close to the LoC. IANS