Fearing another attack by Pakistan, many residents abandon Arnia town

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Pak firing: Residents abandon Arnia town
Arnia (IB), Oct 7: Otherwise bustling with commercial activities, the town of Arnia now wears a deserted look with many of its residents having abandoned their houses in search of safety, fearing another attack from the Pakistani troops.

In one of the worst ceasefire violations, heavy mortar shelling and firing by Pakistani troops targeting hamlets and outposts along the International Border in Jammu district yesterday that left five villagers dead and 34 other wounded.

All the business establishments closed and locks could be seen hanging at the gates of almost every household here.

"This is one of the largest town in Jammu region and on a normal day there is lot of activities in the market here, but today this town represents the dead silence of a graveyard," said Vishal Mehra (32) a resident of the town.

Arnia one of the largest towns in the Jammu province bore the major brunt of the shelling from across the border yesterday.

The shelling took place at around mid-night when the entire town was fast asleep.

"Five innocent civilians were killed and several others were injured by the Pakistani side when we all were sleeping. They deliberately attacked us when we were asleep so as to cause maximum human casualties," said Krishan Mehra (63) a resident of Arnia.

He said that majority of families in the town had to leave their houses fearing that Pakistan might once again resort to firing. "Yesterday morning many people left their houses without even locking the doors. Some of us returned today to lock them," he said.

The residents here say that after Sunday night's firing from across the border on the innocent civilians things will never remain the same for the residents.

As the sporadic shelling from across the border has stopped here, an uneasy calm prevails in the town with most of the lanes and bylanes in the town wearing a deserted look.


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