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SIALKOT: The district administration has established three relief centres for accommodating a large number of border area villagers who have been displaced because of unprovoked shelling by Indian troops.

The relief centres have been set up at Daallowali, Harpal-Balaarwali and Panur villages where villagers hit by Indian shelling stay there during the night.

The people from at least 50 border villages in Sialkot, including Joiyaan, Chaprar, Nandpur, Harpal, Charwah, Dhamaala, Bajra Garhi, Baghiyaari, Jangura, Rangor, Sakhiyaal, Pachhani Khurd, Kothey Raja, Jang, Tongar, Raja Harpal and Salaankey, were shifted to safer places in Sialkot and surrounding areas as well.

The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) continued unprovoked shelling which left many people dead and several houses damaged.

People complain lack of facilities

The people living along border villages also had to shift to safer places in 2014 when their houses were badly shelled by the Indian BSF in months of July and August.

An official of the district administration said a fresh spell of the BSF shelling had badly affected at least 50,000 villagers while over 40,000 of them had been shifted to safer places.

Most of the displaced people are living in tents pitched in fields while they are struggling to get the food in makeshift abodes.

They complain that relief centers do not only lack facilities, but they are also established in areas surrounded by the floodwater. “The relief centres are the breeding grounds for mosquitoes where living is impossible,” they said.

Villagers said they had to go to their houses early in the morning for cooking meal and return to safer places before 5:00pm every day because the Indian BSF mostly started shelling during night hours.

Muhammad Saleem, a farmer from Charwah village, said: “We are the peace-loving people, but enough is enough, urging the government to kill those who are killing us.”

Rukhsana Bibi, who was shifting to a safer place, said the time had come for a tit-for-tat response to India.

Chaudhry Sabir Hussain Joiya of Joiyaan village said: “The miseries of people living in border villages are unending as Indian troops are continuously targeting and killing the civilian population.”

He said Indian troops had been continuously violating the ceasefire accord for about two years.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2015

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