Villagers along India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir are suffering the brunt of cross-border firing with the neighbouring countries continuing to violate ceasefire agreement.
Intense shelling by the Pakistani army has forced several families from Jhangar and Bhawani areas to move to temporary shelters set up at a government higher secondary school in Rajouri district and other safer places on their own.
A lady points at smoke caused by firing of mortar shells from the Pakistan side of the border, at Jhangar village, in Nowshera. (Nitin Kantora/HT Photo)
On the Line of Control towards Jhangar, smoke billowed out of a thick jungle on a mountain and a further few hundred metres into the serpentine stretch, there were fires on the slopes.
A woman sit on the rooftop of a house damaged by mortar shells fired by the Pakistani army at Jhanghar village, in Nowshera. (Nitin Kanotra/HT Photo)
Neelam Devi of Bhawani village pointed towards the hill and said mortars fired by Pakistan had set ablaze the jungle.
“They rained bombs on us….we are living in utter fear,” she said, adding that she and her family had no option than to stay back.
House of a man has been damaged by mortar shells fired from the Pakistan side of the border, at Jhanghar village, in Nowshera. (Nitin Kanotra /HT Photo)
Krishan Lal, Neelam Devi’s husband, said that on Sunday morning, when there was no fire, he moved his three children to a safer place in Nowshera.
“Death stalks us all the time. We are just sitting ducks for the enemy. We can put our life at stake, but not our children’s. Life has become very cruel here on the border,” he said.
Firing by Pakistini army has damaged houses along the border villages in Nowshera. (Nitin Kantora/HT Photo)
Jhangar Khamba village, where Pakistani shelling snuffed out two lives, reflected a grim picture of death and destruction. The village is barely 2.5 km from the LoC.
“Following death of 51-year old Tufail Hussain and his 13 year old granddaughter Asiya Bi on Saturday, almost entire village has been vacated and those who are left are getting ready to leave it before the dusk,” said Baldev Raj, 55.
Jhangar villagers take their belongings with them while moving to safer places following cross-border firing in Nowshera. (Nitin Kanotra/HT Photo)
Sanjeev Choudhary, an army man on leave to his house here from Abohar in Punjab, said most families had left.
“I have been brought up here by my father, who is an ex-serviceman. I never saw such intense shelling. It is a war zone now. Please, be careful,” he added.
Villagers move to safer shelters following cross-border shelling in Nowshera. (Nitin Kanotra/HT photo)