Under Attack From Pakistan and Winter, Border Villagers Flee to Migrant Camps

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Under Attack From Pakistan and Winter, Border Villagers Flee to Migrant Camps

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Residents of border villages take shelter at a migrant camp, set up to protect them from shelling by Pakistan.

Jammu:  As ceasefire violations go unabated at the International Border in Jammu, thousands of border residents are now fleeing from their homes in the freezing cold and going to migrant camps. Nights are critical - that's the time when the shelling and firing is more intense.

Thousands of people have fled from areas which are worst hit by Pakistani shelling. And most of them were evacuated in the police vehicles during the night.

"The situation is bad in our village. It is very difficult to live there. We just want security," said Sapna, just as she was moving out from her village in Samba.

A camp has been set up for border migrants inside a temple complex in Samba, where hundreds of border migrants spend the night, huddled together.

The nights are frosty, with temperatures dropping down to just three to four degrees. And there are no heating arrangements.

It has been a backbreaking journey of many hours for 70-year-old Prakasho Devi to reach here from her village Ben Gillad at the International Border. She suffers from arthritis, and is worried about the safety of her family members who chose to stay back at home.

"There is no place to keep our kids in this cold. The shelling begins so suddenly. We don't know how to escape from the firing zones," says Prakasho Devi

For the last 15 days, Pakistani shelling has become a daily affair at the International Border in Jammu.

The worst hit sectors being Samba and Hiranagar. So far, over 10,000 people have taken shelter in about 14 migrant camps.

The border migrants have but one concern - when will the guns fall silent? And, when will they return to a peaceful, normal life?



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