Border Villages Empty, Houses Destroyed As Pakistan Continues Shelling

For over a week, there has been continuous firing and shelling by Pakistani Rangers along the International Border and Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

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The Border Security Force or BSF says it is responding to Pakistani aggression with full force.


RS Pura Sector, Jammu:  Deep into the villages in RS Pura, 30 kilometres from Jammu, there is a sense of fear among the border residents.

At the Shamka village right at the zero line, heavily pounded by Pakistan, there is not a single house or wall which isn't riddled with splinters. The village is totally empty as everybody has left for safety.

The only people we met were Shyam Lal and his family, who have returned to access the damages of their house heavily pounded and destroyed by Pakistani shelling.

"I had taken a loan to build the house. I worked very hard and saved money for constructing this house. Everything has been wasted. Where will we go, we don't want to live here," said Shyam Lal.

Barely few houses away is the residence of Bhajan Lal, who was killed right at his home by a Pakistani shell yesterday. He was sleeping in a small room when a shell landed, and he was hit by splinters. His livestock died too.

More than one lakh people have been affected by Pakistani shelling and over 50,000 have moved to safe places.

Local administration has established shelters where hundreds are camping in the bitter summer heat.

At such a shelter in RS Pura, Babli Devi came with her two children after she heard the news of the death of 10-year-old Krishna in the Samba sector.

"The firing takes place randomly, they don't really care whether the shells falls on older people or children, the shells don't see who is hit, we have little children, they play outside and don't stay at home, if they are hit with shells they will die obviously", said Babli Devi.

In Samba, 70 kilometres from Jammu, final rites today took place of 10-year-old Krishna, a day after he was killed in Pakistani shelling.

At the government medical college in Jammu, the elder brother of Krishna, 12-year-old Shiv Pal, badly injured in Pakistani shelling, doesn't even know that his younger brother has died.

"We were drinking water, when a shell hit our house, I and my brother got injured, he has more injuries than me," said Shiv Pal.

The Border Security Force or BSF says it is responding to Pakistani aggression with full force. For over a week, there has been continuous firing and shelling by Pakistani Rangers along the International Border and Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. 12 people, including an infant and two soldiers have been killed, and nearly sixty civilians injured. 


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