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Fear grips farmers in J-K's border areas

Chilyari/Samba Sector/Londi/Hiranagar (J-K), Sun, 07 Dec 2008 ANI

Chilyari/Samba Sector/Londi/Hiranagar (J-K), Dec 7 (ANI): Farmers of Kathua district that shares borders with Pakistan said they face a bleak future after relations soured between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai terror strikes.


Although both countries have denied reports about mobilization of troops on their borders, residents of the border areas say that hostilities between the two neighbours cast a shadow on their lives.


Farmers in the region said they feared they would have to abandon their crops if hostilities flared up.


"It was peace here since four-five years and we believed that we can carry on with our work. But now, the farmers, who have their lands near border, will have to leave their crop and produce," said Darshan Sharma, a farmer.


India and Pakistan fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947.


The peace process initiated in 2004 had greatly improved the ground level situation in the border areas, particularly with observation of ceasefire by both the countries.


But with escalating tensions the residents said they were advancing harvesting their crops before it was too late.


"We are working quickly so that we don't face losses if the situation worsens," said Jarnail Singh, another farmer.


The verbal war of words between New Delhi and Islamabad has heightened tension between the two countries. And both have increased surveillance along the border as a precautionary measure to the discomfiture of the border residents.


India has demanded Pakistan move swiftly to capture militants responsible for Mumbai terror attacks that killed at least 197 and injured around 300.


Islamabad has denied involvement and condemned the Mumbai attacks but India claims to have evidence that the militants had been trained for more than a year on Pakistani soil. (ANI)


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