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Frightened villagers reluctant to return home in Kashmir

Jammu : Thousands of terrified villagers who fled from border villages in Jammu and Kashmir following Pakistani shelling have refused to return to their homes even though there was no violation of ceasefire on the international border Friday.

Over 10,000 frightened villagers from areas close to international border in Samba and Kathua districts have migrated to makeshift camps.

“There has been no firing from across during the past three days along the international border in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts,” a senior police officer told IANS here.

Yet, the villagers are reluctant to return to their homes, fearing Pakistani shelling.

“The villagers living in camps are reluctant to return unless permanent peace is guaranteed in their areas,” an official said.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitender Singh, who visited the international border and the camps earlier this week, told reporters the Border Security Force (BSF) has been advised to build safe bunkers for villagers in border areas.

He also said proposals about allotting some land to the villagers away from border districts was being considered.