INDIA has evacuated “over 36,000” people from its border with Pakistan to escape heavy shelling that has devastated buildings and killed cattle as tensions soar between the two nations, it has emerged.
By JOSEPH CAREY
Sub Divisional Police Officer, Surinder Choduhary, explained that the town of Arnia had been evacuated as part of a desperate effort to save residents from the escalating area of conflict on part of the border known as the Line of Control (LoC).
He said: “Arnia town has been vacated. We have evacuated large number of people from Arnia and border hamlets. Most of hamlets are now vacated.
“Over 150 kullas (grass houses) have been gutted in the fire and several animals have perished in the fire triggered by Pakistan shelling.”
Arnia is a town in the region of Jammu and Kashmir that borders Pakistan – the area has been a source of rising tensions between the two South Asian nations.
Kumar Rajeev Ranjan, the deputy commissioner in the region of Jammu, declared that 58 villages in Arnia and Suchetgarh areas have all scrambled deeper into India for safety.
He explained: “Over 36,000 border dwellers have migrated from their homes.”
Although many of the evacuees are taking shelter with friends and family, over 1,000 are reportedly camping in places of lodging set up by the government in schools.
Meanwhile, over 5,000 cattle have moved from areas near the border to safer spots.
Evacuee Sattar Din stated that he has “lost everything” from the desperate scramble to avoid the shelling.
He stated: “We have left our hamlets. We have lost everything.
“Our kullas have been gutted in Pakistan mortar shelling and animals have perished. They were our source of income.”
Asha Rani, from Arnia, stated that the “firing and shelling” rivals what was felt in the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1965 and 1971.
She said: “People have not seen such intense firing and shelling even in the 1965 and 1971 wars. Pakistan was solely shelling us in Arnia.”