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Poonch residents seek emergency construction of shelling shelters

As per the Jammu and Kashmir government, Poonch has witnessed an increase in the number of ceasefire violations.

, ET Bureau|
Aug 27, 2014, 04.00 AM IST
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As per the Jammu and Kashmir government, Poonch has witnessed an increase in the number of ceasefire violations.
As per the Jammu and Kashmir government, Poonch has witnessed an increase in the number of ceasefire violations.
SRINAGAR: With shelling becoming the new routine in four border sectors in Jammu, apprehensions in other areas straddling the LoC are gravely up. Residents in Poonch and Rajouri are seeking emergency construction of “shelling shelters”, an idea that was abandoned after the 2003 ceasefire led to cessation of hostilities between the Indian and Pakistan armies.

“It was earlier decided that all the villages living closer to the LoC should have a community shelter,” said Shehnaz Ganai, a lawmaker from the region. “Shelling in these areas is a routine affair but the only difference is that there are only property losses and not human losses.”

As per the J&K government, Poonch has witnessed an increase in the number of ceasefire violations. By August 23, the state’s home minister said on Tuesday, 36 ceasefire violations were recorded. “It is the Arnai sector which is the real target of most of the attacks,” Ganai said.

Poonch has 103 km of LoC and 42 villages are with a cumulative population of 28,464 people are situated very close to it, the government informed the state legislature. This entire population is living between the actual LoC and the fence that the Army has laid on this side of the working border.

“At one stage, the Army had laid the fence much inside but later new fence was created slightly closer to the LoC,” Ganai said. “Now we have at least two major villages like Dagwar and Arnai where the fence lies between the residents and their farmlands and every time they have to go to till their fields they have to trek a few kilometers to reach the gate...”

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