In PaK too, villagers along LoC move to safer places

File Photo
File Photo

Hundreds of families residing in the "most vulnerable" areasalong the restive Line of Control in Pakistan-administered Kashmir were reportedto have moved to safer areas as three more civilians were wounded Wednesdayamid unrelenting ceasefire violations by Indian forces, officials said.

Samina Bibi, 25, and her three-year-old daughter Kanwal wereinjured in Manda village while Nasreen Bibi was injured and a mosque damaged inGhee Kot village of Khilana sector in the small hours of Wednesday, said AhmedRaza Qadri, PaK minister for civil defence.

Khilana is located towards the right of Chakothi-Uricrossing point at the heavily militarised LoC.

Residents said the exchange of heavy fire continued inKhilana, Chakothi and adjoining areas throughout the night and also inintervals on Wednesday.

Shabbir Ahmed, a resident of Chakothi, said his was amongmany families from the town which had moved to Hattian Bala.

He said only those families had stayed back which hadconcrete bunkers built within or along their houses.

Qadri claimed the morale of the people living along the LoCwas very high and a vast majority of them did not want to leave their homes.

"However, we have requested ourselves to those inhabitingthe most exposed areas to move back until the situation improves," he said.

According to him, as many as 61 families from differentvillages of Chakothi had left their homes and 21 of them had been accommodatedin buildings of two educational institutions in Hattian Bala.

Elsewhere, he said, 18 families in Bhimber district and 12families in Kotli district had also been relocated in government buildings.

 "The rest are stayingwith their relatives," he said.

However, some officials and residents claimed that manyfamilies had moved to the rear areas on their own without getting themselvesregistered with the authorities concerned.

"More than 2000 people are reported to have already moved tothe rear areas in Khuiratta, Charhoi and Tattapani sectors while many in Nakyalsector are also planning relocation," said Dr Umer Azam, deputy commissioner ofKotli, where these sectors are located.

Most of these families either owned houses or had closerelatives in the urban areas, he said.

On Tuesday, four persons were killed and 11 others woundedin Kotli district in indiscriminate shelling by Indian forces, according toofficials.

Qadri said all educational institutions in the "highlyvulnerable" areas along the dividing line had been closed for "indefiniteperiod" to avert any "untoward incident."

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