Though returned back, ‘fear psychosis’ runs high among border residents

Pardeep Singh Bali

Though an eerie of peace has been restored in border areas and the residents have been asked to return back home, but a kind of fear psychosis continues to run high among the locals, pertaining to unpredictable nature of Pakistan.

Over 15,000 villagers from Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts have returned home. They had migrated to safer places following Pakistan Rangers’ repeated violation of the bilateral ceasefire agreement in the wake of the surgical strikes by India across the LoC.
While women and children continued to remain sheltered in makeshift accommodation provided by the authorities, men returned to their fields and homes for a short period during the day.
“Though there is peace at present, but we are fearful that anything could happen because Pakistan is an unpredictable nation and unpopular for fomenting terrorism,” said a border
resident, Charan Das at Pallainwala sector.
He said that nights are haunting, as during day timethey remain busy with agriculture and other works.
“Nights at border villages are haunting, as you never know when silent Pakistan did shoots mortar shells,” he said and added they are forced to stay at homes as one of the worst fears was that the ripe crops would go to waste if they weren’t harvested.
“If shells had continued to fall on our homes and fields as they did after September 30 for more than a week, we would not have dared to harvest our crops,” he said.
It is not just the rice and other grains but even the vast fields of vegetables along the border that required picking.
Village markets in Khour tehsil have again started opening for shoppers as tractor loads of vegetables have arrived from the cities.
Score of villagers said that though a peace is restoring in their area, but still some kind of fear is prevailing. “We cannot pursue our daily routine work properly, as a fear of ceasefire violations continue to haunt us,” they said and added that many families in the area have preferred to keep their children and women folk back at safe places.

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