Border flare-up: 20 civilian injured Arnia witnesses mass migration, schools closed

The fresh mortar shelling across the International Border (IB) injured 20 more civilians in Samba and Arnia sectors and RS Pura Tuesday evening.
The heavy shelling triggered mass migration from Arnia and R S Pura.
At least 24 villages in Arnia (inhabited by around 25, 000 people) and 25 villages in RS Pura have suffered badly due to mortar shelling.
Sources said during the intervening night, two civilian were wounded in Arnia with mortar shells fired toward PindiChadkan village.
The injured were identified as MadanLal, son of Saba Ram of PindiChadkan and Koshalya Devi, wife of Anant Ram of Arnia.
R S Pura too witnessed heavy mortar shelling where civilian areas and forward posts became the target Tuesday evening.
In the cross-border mortar shelling, the villages, 3 km from the IB were badly affected in which seven people suffered injuries at village Shamka in R S Pura.
The villagers have been told to shift to safer places in view of heavy mortar shelling.
At least 25 border villages had been affected in shelling.
This evening, the cross border firing spread to Samba sector where 11 civilian were wounded, three of them critically, when nine mortar shells were fired toward a border village KesooManhasa in Ramgarh, Samba.
The injured were shifted to the hospital for treatment, while three of them continued to be critical.
Around 35 BSF posts and villages in Ramgarh are under fire.
Majority of people from Arnia town and its adjoining villages along the IB have shifted to the safer places in view of intense shelling.
Most of the houses in border villages of Arnia wore a ghostly look where from people have shifted either to the camps established by the administration or to the residences of their relatives.
At least 24 villages with a population of 25,000 have been affected due to the shelling and most of the people have shifted to safer areas.
Police and Army are moving in bullet proof vehicles to shift the trapped people.
Some affected villages in Arnia include Changiya, Chanana Camp, PiniChadka, Kaku De Kothe, Treva, Jabowal, Devi Garh, Nikowal, Sai.
In R S Pura, 25 villages have also been affected.
All the schools within 5 km from the IB have been closed in Arnia due to Pak shelling.
The schools were closed after the mortar shelling affected civilian villages.
Most of the bunkers constructed in R S Pura and Arnia are not being used by the border residents due to lack of cleanliness, no toilet arrangements inside or no separate room for women.
“One bunker can give shelter to at least 16 people but villagers avoid taking shelter in it due to lack of cleanliness. At least villagers should have formed a committee at a local level and cleaned it but it was never done. Now, it is not being used. We cannot blame the government for everything. At least they have constructed bunkers in many villages although they are less than the numbers required,” said Rakesh Kumar, a local.
Instead, the villagers preferred to abandon their houses and shift to camps or in the houses of their relatives in safer places.
Locals said most of the houses in Arnia were locked and very few people, mostly only the male members, stayed behind to take care of the cattle.

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