Pak army asks villagers to move towards safer places | 2600 persons displaced, 5 houses damaged, say officials
After a gap of 15 years, India and Pakistan armies exchanged heavy artillery along the Line of Control in Uri on Saturday, an official said.
He said both armies had stopped exchanging heavy artillery in 2003 when India and Pakistan signed the ceasefire agreement.
“Five residential houses were damaged in heavy exchange of artillery between the two sides at Silikote and Churanda villages,” the official added.
Chaotic scenes were witnessed in Churanda and Silkote villages this morning when Pakistan army, using public address system, asked residents to vacate their homes.
“Soon after announcements were made, Pakistan army resorted to heavy shelling. We had no option but to run for our lives,” said AbidHussain of Silikote.
The residents said the situation is extremely grim and there seems no let up in the shelling from both sides.
“We are so frightened this time that we are thinking to shift permanently from the area,” Hussain said.
Another resident, Riyaz Ahmad of Silkote, said, “We have not witnessed such intensity of shelling in the past. Our life is in extreme danger. As long two sides don’t announce ceasefire we will not return.”
While reiterating their demand for safety bunkers, the displaced people said while such bunkers have been provided to border residents in Jammu, no such measures have been taken here.
They said that ordinary bunkers won’t guarantee safety.
Sub divisional magistrate Uri D SagarDoifode toldGreater Kashmir, “After receiving information about intense shelling in the area we dispatched scores of vehicles including ambulances to evacuate the trapped people.”
He said, amid intense shelling, administration managed to rescue scores of people and shifted them to a shelter house at Uri.
“Following the volatile situation along the LoC a control room has been set up in Uri town to deal with any adverse situation,” the SDM added.
“We have kept stock reserved for the affected people. From electricity to water, food and medicine, the displaced people are being looked after well” the SDM said.
Meanwhile, another official said the worst affected people are the villagers of Silkote, Mothal, Hathlanga, Soura, Churanda and Tillawari.
Sub divisional police officer Uri Javed Ahmad Shah said they have received around 1300 people from the affected areas and an equal number of people have taken refuge in the homes of their relatives in different areas.
JAVAID MIR TAKES STOCK
Meanwhile, an official spokesman said that in view of prevailing tension and escalation at LoC in Uri in Baramulla district following intense cross-border shelling in the area, the minister for Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation & Reconstruction, Javaid Mustafa Mir enquired about the facilities being provided to the migrated families residing in the camps.
The minister directed DC and SSP, Baramulla to take review of the measure and to take stock of situation and to monitor the facilities and arrangements being provided to the inhabitants of Churunda, Silikote, Mothal, Hatlanga, ShouraBalkote, and Tilawari who have vacated their area and are residing in Rehabilitation camp established at Govt Girls Higher Secondary School Uri, the spokesman said.
He directed the district administration to interact with the evicted families residing in the camp and take firsthand account of their miseries. Clear cut instructions were passed to the concerned officers to provide suitable accommodation, food, water, power, medical and sanitation facilities to the people residing in the camp, Mir said and added that ambulance and bullet proof vehicle should be made available to meet any exigency during any escalation along LoC.