Amid COVID-19 lockdown panic grips Kupwara areas as Indo-Pak armies exchange fire

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As India and Pakistan indulge in cross-border shelling and firing, panic has gripped a few villages in Kupwara, north Kashmir, along the Line of Control (LoC).

Talking to The Kashmir Walla, locals said that they were struck by panic due to the heavy shelling amidst the outbreak of a pandemic. “We are confined to our houses — thanks to the virus,” says a local resident of Panzagam village. “But now this shelling is scaring us.”

The shelling has been reported from Panzgam, Malikpora, TCP, Hafrada and Ferkiyan areas and it has created panic among the residents. In Panzam, many people left their homes and moved towards safer locations while others have restricted themselves to safer locations within their homes.

“The shelling is so intense that we are for the first time hearing it hear,” said Sajjad Ahmad, a resident of Tarathpora, a densely populated village which is very far away from the LoC. “The houses were shaken with every sound of the shell.”

Not only those living nearby, but the shelling also rattled even far off villages with some villagers saying that they are hearing the roaring sounds for the first time, reported a local news wire, GNS.

Officials told that the heavy “artillery” shelling was started by Pakistan across the LoC and the Indian army responded in equal proportions.

“It is a ceasefire violation as Pakistan resorted to unprovoked artillery shelling and the army is giving them a befitting reply,” said the official, who does not wish to be named.

Meanwhile, the mobile internet services have been suspended in the district and it has, as per locals, added to their worries. (With inputs from GNS)

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