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Despite hardships border population want to remain with border soil

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Sai Kalan, J&K, Mar 24 (UNI) Various hardships encountered in their daily life have failed to drive away inhabitants of the areas close to the Zero Line of the International Border (IB) as they continued to retain their pride in their culture as Indians.

People from dozens of villages of Sambha, Akhnoor and RS Pura Sectors in Jammu region, who were here to participate in the Civic Action Program of Border Security Force (BSF) on Thursday, shared their problems and hopes with visiting mediapersons.

"Pichhale 58 sal ke dauran Bharat aur Pakistan ke bich tanav ke karan hum pachchison bar yahan se visthapit ho chuke hai magar hum yahin rahana chahte hai kyonki hum apani sabhyata, sanskriti aur matribhumi se bahut prem karte hain." (for the past 58 years, we had been displaced from our homes more than 25 times during times of aggression or increasing tension between India and Pakistan. But we want to remain here because we love our civilisation, culture and soil), Shobha Singh, a resident of Sai Kalan village, said.

"Although we want the peaceful and tension-free life, it is not possible, especially at Zero Line, therefore we accepted such a lifestyle. At times of war or war like situation, the army alerts us and asks to take shelter at a safe place. During the night, we leave our houses and properties and rush to the safer places," the principal of local higher secondary school said.

Ujagar Singh, who has been witness to many conflicts, said the period of 1996 to 2002 was the toughest. "We were living under fire from across border. At that time we didn't know when the war will be sparked off. But after 2003, we are feeling very relaxed." MORE UNI HGV NK PC1722

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