Frightened by shelling from Pakistan, farmers want extra security

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Dhanoae (Indo Pak Border), Sep. 12 (ANI): Several incidents of shelling or firing from Pakistan side of the India-Pakistan border in Attari sector of Punjab, including the latest witnessed on Friday night, have caused a sense of fear among villagers.

On an average, each village along the border holds an estimated 300 acres area of land beyond the fencing. And, they have always cultivated their farmlands under the protection of the Border Security Forces (BSF) since 1990s.

Farmers, who own land beyond border fencing, are reluctant to visit their fields without security personnel.

At least six rockets were lobbed from Pakistani sides in the fields near the villages, situated close to India-Pakistan border in the last two months.

Though the shelling incident has not caused any casualty so far. For the first time, the Border Security Force (BSF) had to retaliate with machine gun fire last night against Pakistan's lobbing of rockets.

The developments have caused panic among villagers, the farmers' want more security measures to be put in place to prevent such incidents.

Dharminder Singh, a border farmer of Dhanoae, said his family owns a piece of land beyond fencing. And the family cultivates the land in daytime. But even after heavy deployment of security at the border, rockets could reach their fields.

Paramjeet Singh another border farmer who also have land beyond fencing said that they have transplanted paddy this year and crop would be ready to harvest in another two months but after this development at border they fear going to their field near fencing.

Talking to ANI over phone Jagir Singh, DIG BSF said they he along with other officers visited the villages near border and assured villagers that steps have been taken to ensure their security and safety.

Meanwhile, Kisan Sangharsh Committee (farmers' struggle committee) staged a protest at Attari border, in which hundreds of farmers from nearby villages participated and raised slogans against Pakistan on Saturday.

"We are living on the border. We are tired of vacating our native places due to such incidents," said farmers.

"Pakistan always acts like an enemy, whereas India speaks the language of a friend. People of India and Pakistan want peace. Such incidents involving shelling or similar acts by militants or fundamentalists creates hurdles against peace," Ratan Singh Randhava, the Head of Kisan Sangharsh Committee.

Randhava urged the Government to take measure, which would restore the sense of confidence among farmers.

On Friday, around three to five rocket shells were lobbed on the Indian territory from Pakistan. Incidentally, it incident occurred on the night when Border Security Force (BSF) deployed its first batch of women on the India-Pakistan border.

It was second instance of firing by Pakistan in a span of two months.

According to reports, three rockets were fired by Pakistan which fell in the two border villages of Dhanoae Kachye and Modahe, however no causality has been reported since the rockets fell into paddy fields.

Jagir Singh, Deputy Inspector General of BSF, confirmed over phone, late Friday night rockets fired from Pakistan side have been traced.

The BSF traced the fourth rocket lobbed by Pakistan last night at Daleke village.

Earlier, on July 5, Pakistan had lobbed three rockets towards India that fell in the Dhandae, Bherwal and Konake villages on Indian side. (ANI)

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