An uneasy calm prevailed in this last Indian village of Galard along the International Border in Samba district in Jammu and Kashmir with residents reluctant to return fearing cross-border firing from Pakistan.The residents in Galard say that every time there is firing from across the border they become the real targets. Since incidents of ceasefire violations from across the border have gone up, villagers in almost all areas along the international border in Samba, Kathua and Jammu district have been forced to leave their houses and cattle behind to take shelter in safer locations.”We don’t sleep in the night as we fear that a shell fired by the Pakistani side might anytime land on our house and kill us. Our children suffer the most…their education is hampered. They also become victims of psychological trauma,” Maninder Singh, a resident of Londi village, said today.Shankar, a resident of Galard, said, “People living in safe cities don’t know what we are going through. We literally die everyday.” Shankar, who along with a handful of villagers returned early this morning to the village to give fodder to their cattle, said they were forced to move to safer locations.”Even though we want that Pakistan must be taught a tough lesson for targeting innocent villagers, we also pray that peace must return so that villagers on both sides can lead a peaceful life,” said Vikram Mehra, a resident of Bobiya village of Kathua district.Deputy Commissioner of Kathua, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary told PTI that the villagers are scared to go back to their homes until a flag meeting is held and both sides agree to implement a ceasefire.”We are not in a hurry to send them back to their villages until the situation on the border becomes normal again. The residents say they will return only after a flag meeting between the two sides takes place,” he said.

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Uneasy calm in Jammu and Kashmir border villages after repeated Pakistani firing