Mortar shelling wakes up border residents of Uri

Border residents in several villages near the Line of Control in Uri woke up to loud bangs early Wednesday morning as shells from across the dividing line landed in the area, sparking fears of war among the people.

Villagers in Kamalkote, Churanda, Silkote, Basgra, Isham, Soura, Zamboor Pattan, Tillawari and several others scrambled for safety fearful of being hit.

Fareed Ahmad, a resident of Kamalkote village said the situation turned extremely grim along the border at around 3:30am before dawn.

“The loud explosions continued for several hours. Male members somehow kept calm but women and children cried their hearts out,” Ahmad said.

Many of the border residents in the Uri area say they were fearful of the situation turning more dangerous.

“There should be an end to hostility between the two countries otherwise our survival is at stake,” said Sajad Ahmad, also a resident of Kamalkote.

Police also said that at around 3 am Wedensday, Pakistan army started mortar shelling Kamalkote and Kaalgi areas of Uri sector, resulting in fear among the local population.

“Pakistan resorted to shelling in Kamalkote and Kaalgi area in the morning. The shelling continued for some time,” said Abdul Qayoom, the SSP of Baramulla.

Local administration officials later said that the situation in the area was normal.

However, agovernment-run girls higher secondary school in Uri was kept ready to accommodate border residents in case evacuation of civilians from the frontier villages was required.

“We are ready in case of any eventuality. So far the situation here is normal. In case of any adversity, we have kept ready a shelter house at main market Uri,” sub-district magistrate of Uri, Riyaz Ahmad said.