Army cordons, searches take a toll on Uri residents

Army cordons, searches take a toll on Uri residents
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Baramulla: Abdul Latif, a resident of Uri town, told Kashmir Reader that the people of Uri had good relations with the army soldiers posted in their area, “but from the time when militants attacked and killed 20 army personnel in a fidayeen attack, the army blocked the road that connects several border villages with Uri town, forcing the villagers to walk all the way to Uri town. We approached police, civil administration, local political leaders for the restoration of traffic on the road, but they failed to do so.”
Villagers of Zamboorpatan area of Uri said that on June 3, a large number of army soldiers cordoned off their village and conducted a door-to-door search. Villagers said that the army conducted such a search operation after a long time in their area. A villager told KR that since that operation, “We can’t feel secure and think twice before going to nearby forests for grazing our cattle.”
The villagers of Gawalta who live along the Line of Control near Kaman post in Uri, said that last week the army claimed to have killed two men of Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT) and conducted several search operations that disturbed normal life. “We cannot move freely in our area from the past one month. Every night we hear firing from the border. We can’t go to our fields which are close to the Line of Control and some of our lands are at the other side of the border fence. Our children and women are in depression and we are worried about our families,” said Raja Nadeem Abasi, village head of Gawalta.
“The army is not asking us to stay in our homes, but the continuous firing, tension and search operations are forcing us to stay in our homes,” he added.
Most of the villagers living in Uri area that KR spoke to said that ever since the army claimed to have conducted a surgical strike in Pakistani administered Kashmir, there have been numerous gunfights between Indian and Pakistani troops as well as infiltration attempts. The villagers said that such military hostility had disturbed their normal life and restricted their movement.

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