Fear grips Tangdhar villages due to frequent LoC shelling

Residents show tin sheets damaged in shelling in Bhag Bella village in Tangdhar area of north Kashmir. —Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
Residents show tin sheets damaged in shelling in Bhag Bella village in Tangdhar area of north Kashmir. —Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Suhail Bhat

Srinagar, Aug 12: In wake of frequent exchange of the fire on the Line of Control (LoC), fear gripped the village in Tangdhar area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara and they demanded an end to it.
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As per the residents, an intense shelling incident that occurred on 7th August in the area resulted in the death of a civilian and injuries to three others.  The residents said that the shelling from across the border began around 8 am and continued till 2 pm and caused huge damages in the village.  ”The tragedy unfolded when a shell from across the border landed near an under construction banker where the victims were working,” the residents said adding that the area is gripped in fear ever since the incident took place.
Riyaz Ahmad, a resident said that that the LoC shelling has affected their daily lives as they are scared to venture out of their homes. “The fear of getting hit by a shell is always in our minds. We want it to stop. We have to face shelling from across the LoC while we are busy with our daily routine.  We are unable to do any work in such a situation. We want the Government to take the issue with Pakistan,” he said.
India and Pakistan signed a peace agreement in November 2003, which Pakistan has violated several times recently with the deterioration of the political relationship between the two neighbours following the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year.
The villagers living along the LoC are bearing the brunt of the heightened tensions between the two countries. The villagers have demanded that Pakistan should to stop the shelling so that they can live in peace.
“I want the whole world to see what we are going through. The majority of the people here are daily laborers and shelling affects their work. This has made our life difficult. This shelling should stop so that we can also live peacefully and do our work,” he said.
The other residents said that the shelling is affecting the education of their children due to frequent disruptions in their schooling. “Our children are unable to go to school or tuitions regularly. Although the army helps us with everything here, we still face difficulties. Our problems would end after the shelling stops,” Naseer Ahmad, a resident from Tangdar area said.
The residents also lamented that the lack of proper medical facilities in the area deny timely treatment to the injured. “We have to take the injured either to the District Baramulla or Srinagar which consumes a lot of crucial time and sometimes injured succumb on the way,” Fayaz Ahmad, a resident said.
The residents said that there is a limited civilian movement during the ceasefire violations with the result they face difficulty in attending the injured. “Army and administration help us to evacuate the injured,” another resident said.