New Delhi(The Hindu): Top Pakistan Army Commanders expressed serious concern at the alleged involvement by…
NEW DELHI(PTI): People living within 10 kms of the border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab have been asked to shift to safer places and schools ordered to be shut till further notice in the wake of surgical strike carried out by the Indian Army across the Line of Control (LoC). The ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony at Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar in Punjab has also been closed for public today, officials said.
“We have asked border villagers living along IB and LoC to shift to safer area as a precautionery measure,” Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Simrandeep Singh told PTI. All people living within 7 to 8 kms of India-Pak border have been asked to move to safer areas and schools in 10 kms area to be ordered to close down till further notice, he said.
These directions have been passed on to people living along IB in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts and along LOC in Rajouri and Poonch, officials said. In some areas of R S Pura, the movement of the border residents to safer places has already begun.
“We have passed directions to them to move to safer places and some of them have started to move to the houses of their relatives in safer places,” a Police officer said.
Army has started evacuating people living in the adjoining areas in Noushera belt of Rajouri anticipation of a possible retaliation by Pakistani troops, officials said.
The surgical strike at the terror launch pads was carried out by the Indian Army about 2-3 kms across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.
In Punjab too, people residing in villages within 10 kms of the International Border were asked to shift to safter places. Six districts of the state share border with Pakistan.
The schools in the border areas have also been asked to remain shut until further orders, they said.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has put the entire government and political machinery in an emergency mode, an official spokesman said in Chandigarh.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Badal over telephone today to request him to immediately start the process of evacuation of the people residing in the villages falling within 10 kms of the International Border in view of the escalating situation, the spokesman said.
Badal has directed the Chief Secretary and DGP to ask the concerned Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) to oversee the entire evacuation process in the border districts of Ferozepur, Fazilka, Amritsar, Taran Tarn, Gurdaspur and Pathankot.
The BSF has put all its units along the International Border on “high alert” in the wake of the surgical strikes by India on terror launch pads across the LoC last night.
Officials said the Border Security Force (BSF) headquarters here has issued orders to all its units along IB in Jammu, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat to step up vigil and bolster their numbers at the posts by bringing in all personnel who are in the reserve.
In order to ensure civilian safety, they said, members of the public will not be allowed today to witness the Attari-Wagah retreat ceremony from the stands right next to the designated border pillar in Punjab.
The officials said BSF has also restricted all civilian movement along borders with Pakistan.
The border guarding force, they said, has also been asked by the Centre to provide manpower to local administration for helping in evacuating people from border villages to safer locations.
Officials said border units have been asked to undertake special patrols and conduct ambushes.
The force has also been asked to augment the number of personnel and officers who work under the operational command of the Army at the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
India carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on terror launch pads across LoC last night, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists and those who are trying to support them.
The announcement of the sudden action by the Army was made today by DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, 11 days after the terror strike by Pakistan-based JeM on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Kashmir which left 18 Indian soldiers dead.