Families flee as Indo-Pak armies trade fire in Uri

Around 500 people abandoned their homes near Line of Control at Uri in Baramulla district on Friday as India and Pakistan armies traded heavy fire, an official said.
He said the dislocation of such a huge number of people in one day is a major displacement in the past three decades.
“Following ceasefire violation” the dislocated families were moved to Government Girls Higher Secondary School Uri, where local administration is taking care of their needs, the official added.
Irshad Ahmad Chalkoo, 32, who along with his nine family members shifted from Silkote, a village located along LoC said the intense shelling forced them to leave everything behind and move to a safer place in the Uri town.
“The firing started at around 8 am. Though it was moderate in the beginning, as the time passed it grew intense and the mortar shells fired from across the border start landing in our village,” said Irshad.
He said, “I along with family members escaped in the evening and reached Uri town.”
Irshad said he has witnessed LoC skirmishes in the past also. “In 2001, I lost my right leg after I was hit by the splinters of a shell fired from across the LoC. The amputation of my leg has turned me handicapped,” he added.
The ordeal of this family did not stop here. In August 2003, the family went through another trauma when his mother, Saja Begum, died after being hit by a shell when she was busy in the field.
“We have been the worst victims of Indo-Pak hostilities. Let both the countries decide fate of Kashmiris on both sides of LoC once and for all to end the miseries of the dwellers on either side,” he added.
The displaced families while demanding protection of their lives said, “The J&K government should build shelters for us like they have created for migrant Pandit families. Either the authorities should create bunkers for all of us or rehabilitate us in the plains.”
While talking to Kashmir Post, the sub divisional magistrate Uri said that around three residential houses were damaged in the exchange of fire between the two sides. “We have so far received 200 people from the affected areas. They are being provided with all the basic necessities at the shelter place.”

Guns roar in Nowshera, house damaged
Meanwhile, after a lull of one day, India and Pakistan armies exchanged heavy fire at LoC in Nowshera’s Lam and Jhanger areas in Jammu’s Rajouri district.
An official said that ceasefire violation started in the areas around 5 pm.
“Small arms firing as well as heavy mortar shelling is going on at the LoC stretch from Lam to Jhanger including Saryah and Khamba with explosions of mortar shells rattling the entire area,” the official added.
In the shelling house of one Muhammad Sabir son of Muhammad Akbar of Khori Nar top in Manjakote got damaged in mortar shelling.

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