Keran operation over, but villagers battle fear, uncertainty

KERAN (TIP): Two days after the operation in Keran was wrapped up by the Indian Army, villages along the LOC that have lived through gunbattles, search operations and constant military presence continue to battle fear and uncertainty. For villages along the border that have seen more than 150 ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts in the past 10 months, sweeping away the sense of uncertainty is impossible. Gulam Mohammed Bhat’s village Farkiya is barely 20 km away from where the Indian Army battled Pakistanbacked infiltrators for two weeks. He has opened his grocery shop, but says he’s mentally prepared to bring the shutters down when the next round of tensions begin. Ten kilometers up, CNN-IBN reaches Kachma Bailyal. For villagers there, an LoC on fire means increased military presence occasional search operations and schools shut indefinitely. But their bigger battle is against lack of basic facilities like roads and healthcare. A resident, Gulam Hassan Khan, said, “Tensions are always there in this region. They are more sometimes and less sometimes. Many pregnant women die because they don’t have access to hospitals.”

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