Srinagar: People living in as many as 27 villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district have been asked to be ready to vacate at short notice after intermittent cross-border shelling on Wednesday and Thursday, a media report said.
The LoC has been tense and on a heightened state of alert since a car suicide bomber killed 49 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Pulwama on February 14.
Villagers have been asked to carry only essential belongings and shift to temporary shelters — schools and government buildings — that are beyond the arc of Pakistani guns, Hindustan Times reported. “Mortar shells and machine-gun fire started a day before. It wasn’t too heavy, just intermittent. We haven’t had casualties yet,” said Ramesh Choudhry, the sarpanch of Kalal, a village that hugs the LoC.
Differentiating between calibres of weapons is as important as distinguishing between a good and bad harvest for this farming community of about 830 people living along the LoC. Villagers have vacated their homes many times in the last few years. “As many as three times in the last four years,” said Vijay Choudhury of Kalal.