The Punjab government has evacuated around 800 villages that are within 10-km distance of the border after the surgical strike led by India on September 29. This evacuation has caused mayhem and now a heated political issue for the opposition parties.
A multilayered fencing has been in place in the Punjab border since 2001 and after that no cross-border firing has been reported here. Defense officials have refuted any chance for firing along the Punjab border as both the sides are densely populated and dominated by agrarian population, and there is no ambiguity in the case of the border, which is specific, unlike Jammu and Kashmir.
Intelligence officials have clarified that they did not make any direction to evacuate. BSF officials also clarified that there has been no such evacuation drive in the border villages in the past.
With such declarations, opposition parties like Aam Aadmi Party and Congress are targeting state government. Political leaders, who have been touring the border villages, have accused the state government of deliberately creating panic to gain political mileage ahead of the elections.
Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh said with an eye on the elections, the Union government is creating war hysteria and tension along Punjab’s borders. “Our Army is staying in peace time zones and our villages are being uprooted. Punjab is being made a scapegoat for U.P. elections, as the BJP was unable to establish any foothold there so far,” he said, reported The Hindu.
Hasty evacuation by the state government has caused troubles to the displaced people. Most of the displaced villagers are farmers, who had sown crops in their lands but had to leave everything and are now helpless. There have been no proper arrangements for the survival of the evacuated villagers, and inability to sell their crop produce in local markets hits the nail, as due to panic, markets have been severely affected.