Amritsar/Chandigarh: Having left their crops and cattle behind, villagers living close to the International Border have put up a brave face and hailed Indian Army’s surgical strikes in PoK, praising the Narendra Modi government for giving a stern reply to Pakistan.
As they vacated their houses, the villagers remained cheerful and raised patriotic slogans in several border areas including Fazilka, Amritsar and Gurdaspur.
“What our Army has done is good. Over the years, Pakistan has been repeatedly shown its evil designs. From fighting wars with us, it later started a proxy war with India by aiding and abetting terrorists.
“From Kargil to Pathankot and now Uri, it has not learnt a lesson. We welcome the firm step taken by the central government and what the Army has done,” said Angrez Singh, resident of a border village in Fazilka.
Evacuation of people residing in 1000 villages within ten kilometres of the International Border continued following orders of the authorities.
Heads of local gurdwaras and temples, sarpanches and the police reached out to people using loud speakers, asking them to start evacuation at the earliest in light of the escalating situation between the two countries.
Punjab shares 553-km border with Pakistan and it has six districts which lie close to International Border.
Long queues were witnessed in villages for buying fuel with some people even carrying drums in their tractors. At many places, villagers could be seen rushing to ATMs to withdraw money as panic spread.
At the border villager of Daoke, people could be seen carrying heavy bags on their heads as they quickly packed their belongings to move to temporary camps or head to their relatives who live in cities.
There was a heavy rush on roads in border villages as people moved to safer locations. Many villagers could be seen discussing the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars and wondering whether Pakistan would retaliate this time after the strikes.
There were many who did not want to leave their houses, saying they did not want to leave their ripe crop and domestic animals behind. Paddy crop is ready for harvesting and will start reaching the market from tomorrow.
“We cannot leave our crops and animals behind, we will suffer great losses. The government must settle this issue with Pakistan once for all,” a farmer in Ferozepur district said.