18 villages on Zero Line sans proper bunkers

Ravi Krishnan Khajuria

Abdulian, (Indo-Pak border), July

Virtually at the mouth of Pakistani barrels, nearly 18 villages on the Zero Line in the RS Pura sector of Jammu district are without adequate and proper underground bunkers despite the fact that the then Union Secretary, Border Management, Sneh Lata Kumar, had assured the same to the villagers in August last year.

“We are caught between the devil and the deep sea. While the administration seems to be in deep slumber, Pak shelling in the dead of night forced us to take refuge in this dingy and congested bunker,” said Babu Ram, a septuagenarian.

“There are small children with us. Spending night in a bunker in hot and humid weather without electricity squeezed life out of us,” he added. “We move into this bunker cautiously ensuring there are no snakes in it. The existing bunkers are decrepit,” said Ram.

Devinder Kumar of Raipur Sazda said it would be good if India settled scores with Pakistan once and for all. “We are fed up of frequent firing and shelling by Pakistan and indifferent attitude of the government in the state and at the Centre. It would be an act of kindness on border people, if India settled its score with Pakistan,” he said with frustration writ large over his face.

Kumar added that the affected stretch of the RS Pura sector which had over 18 villages — Raipur Sazda, Bera, Bega, Choga, Gopur Basti, Shamka, Tonkanwali, Laiyan, Chandu Chak, Abdulian, Bidhipur Jattan, Korotana Khurd, Nai Basti, Avtal, Sheikhuchak, Suchetgarh, Gulabgarh Basti, Nikowal and Sai — lacked proper bunkers.

“These are the villages which are either on Zero Line or within firing range of Pakistan. Despite repeated requests, we have not been provided proper bunkers. We are simply not considered human beings. We are just a vote bank for politicians,” he added.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service