Border residents feel safe as bullets from Pakistan, don’t land near Poonch’s revered Baba Maira Bakhsh Shrine

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Jammu Tawi, April 12: Time and again Pakistan shelled the forward villages in bordering hamlets of Poonch district but the bullets fired from across the border never landed close to one of the pious and revered shrines situated close to the Line of Control.
The bullets fired from across the border hit and damage the border villages but never landed close to Baba Maira Bakhsh Dargah situated close to the LoC in village Guntriyan of tehsil Haveli in district Poonch.
The shrine has its importance and the people not only from Poonch and this side of the border but also from neighbouring Pakistan have faith in this revered place.
The shrine was constructed after Baba Maira Bakhsh left for heavinly abode in 1986.
The saint, around 50 years back migrated from Pakistan and settled at village Guntriyan and over a period of time, locals started visiting him and listen to holy sermons.
”There is a Pakistani post just opposite to ‘dargah’ but despite heavy firing during ceasefire violations, the shrine never got damaged,” a villager said.
He said that shells, bullets and even mortars land in the villages close to the shrine but never hit the structure and there was no damage or loss of life reported so far in villages surrounding shrine due to cross border firing.
”We feel secure due to this revered shrine,” another villager added.
He said that members of the divided families from Pakistan visiting Poonch in a weekly Poonch-Rawlakote ‘Peace Bus’ to meet their relatives this side, also visit to the Shrine and pay obeisance.
The shrine is being looked after by a local namely Mohammad Amin, who makes all arrangements for the visitors at the holy place.
“In 1947 when partition happened, Baba Maira Bakhsh migrated to Poonch where he was detained and sent back,” said a villager adding that he again returned back but again repatriated.
Then in 1954, Saint Maira Bakhsh returned to Poonch following which, locals, police and administration after knowing his consent, allowed him to settle.
”Finally after 1965 Indo-Pak war, Saint Maira Bakhsh settled in the village Guntriyan where he used to perform prayers and lived a simple life,” a villager asserted.
“The Shrine is of great importance and every year congregation is organised on the occasion of Urs,” Aijaz Jan, MLA Poonch here told UNI.
He said that community kitchen is set up at the shrine while free meals are served to the devotees visiting there.
“The Saint used to ‘beat’ the sufferers to treat them, which was taken as blessing,” Jan said.
He however, said that the Pakistani firing never able to damage the Shrine, which is itself a ‘miracle’.

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