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Thousands flee homes in J&K

Thousands flee homes in J&K
Highlights

The blistering night-long mortar attacks on Monday and the rattle of heavy guns has sent villagers scurrying with fear and they are piling onto buses, tractor-trolleys and bullock carts in order to move to safety.

  • Pak violates ceasefire thrice on Tuesday, targets 40 BoPs
  • Narendra Modi's chest is 5.6 inches and not 56: Congress
  • Pak approaches UN military observer group against India
  • US expresses concern over violence along Line of Control

Deoli: The spell of terror unleashed by the recent ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the border in Jammu and Kashmir has triggered an exodus in the frontier areas of the state as thousands flee their homes to escape the constant firing which has so far left six persons dead and several others injured.

The blistering night-long mortar attacks on Monday and the rattle of heavy guns has sent villagers scurrying with fear and they are piling onto buses, tractor-trolleys and bullock carts in order to move to safety.
Women and children residing near the border leave their homes on a horse cart as they move to safer areas after firing from the Pakistani side at Arnia sector on Tuesday
Amid escalation of cross-border firing, top military officials of India and Pakistan discussed the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and International Border but failed to address the issue.

Officials of the Directorate Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) talked over hotline for five minutes during which both sides accused each other of violating the ceasefire, Army sources said here.

Over 5,000 border dwellers have fled their homes to take shelter with either their relatives or at Army camps.

With only some utensils, clothes and other necessary items bundled into their bullock cart as they fled their mudhouse in the Mahasha Kote hamlet, Gursharan's family of five mirrored the urgency of hundreds of others anxious to get out of harm's way.

Gursharan, who is a small farmer in the border belt, feels it is better to leave for some time than to die.

Blood-stained beds, rooftops blown off by mortar shells and windows and walls sprayed with bullets bore mute testimony to the devastation which the ceasefire violations by Pakistan have caused in these hamlets. A smell of cordite and gunpowder hung in the air and carcasses of animals were strewn everywhere.

J-K government had made arrangements for providing shelter to 18,000 to 20,000 people in various camps in the safer zones.

Pakistani troops also violated the ceasefire thrice on Tuesday by targeting 40 Border Out Posts and 25 border hamlets with heavy mortar shells in Jammu sector and LoC areas in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, leaving nine persons injured.

Congress launched a stinging attack on PM Narendra Modi over the issue of ceasefire violations by Pakistan questioning his silence even as it wondered why the government was running with a "part- time" Defence Minister.

Taking potshots at the PM , Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said Modi during his Lok Sabha campaign had talked about 56-inch chest but "it has now been reduced to just 5.6 inches".

A day after it lodged a protest with India on alleged ceasefire violations along the border, Pakistan on Tuesday approached UN military observer group over the LoC situation.

According to the Press Counsellor in the Pakistan High Commission here, Pakistan has recorded protest at United Nations Military Observer Group In India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) office in Islamabad on the LoC situation.Expressing concern over violence along the Line of Control, the US has asked India and Pakistan to engage in a dialogue process to address the border issues.

"Well, we are concerned about any violence along the Line of Control (LoC). We continue to encourage the governments of India and Pakistan to engage in further dialogue to address these issues," State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

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