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Uri’s Tilawari is trapped in a war zone

The government has turned a blind eye towards the area residents

SAMAA | - Posted: Mar 3, 2019 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Mar 3, 2019 | Last Updated: 3 years ago

The government has turned a blind eye towards the area residents

Photo: Zubair Sofi

When Pakistan and India were facing off in the sky, the people in Kashmir were looking for trenches to protect themselves from the artillery strikes.

The problem is worse of people of Tilawari, which lies in the Uri sector, as they have no longer have roads or bridges which could be used for their evacuation, according to Newsclick. The route to the area turned deadlier because of heavy rains, while the bridge was destroyed by landslides. People walk one kilometre every day to get to their village, the article says.

Related: Kashmiris forced to flee their homes as LoC tensions escalate

They keep on waiting for someone to help following cross-border firing between India and Pakistan but to no avail. The people can’t leave on their own because the village is surrounded by landmines and barricade wires. Many people have sent their children and elders to their relatives in nearby villages, according to the article.

When a reporter said an area resident why he hasn’t contacted the government, he said that is is because the authorities don’t do anything for them. People who leave are afraid to return because of the scale of mortar shelling they have witnesses.

The village has no dispensary for the 500 people who live there, said the Newsclick article. People continue to spend their nights restlessly and keep looking at the Pakistani check-post, which has been made at some elevation, afraid of another round of firing.

Related: Kashmiris leaving villages amid Pakistan-India tensions

Indian army has erected a gate near the village. It opens at 7am and closes at 7pm. If any person wants to enter the village after this time, then they have to walk back four kilometres and seek permission from a military officer for entry.

Fayaz Ahmad Awan, who lives in the area, told Newsclick that the land near his house is filled with mines. “I have lost a big chunk of my cattle due to the mines. I have to keep a vigil on my children when they go out in the courtyard to play, lest they venture into the area wrought with landmines,” he said. “No doubt we are living in a war zone, but it should be guns against guns, jets against jets. We are civilians. Are we supposed to live a horrible life like this? are we supposed to die with a bullet in our body?”

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