There should be an end to “skirmishes” along the Line of Control as they are making the lives of people in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir miserable, the National Conference said on Saturday. The party was referring to the losses suffered by people in Kupwara district’s Karnah sector due to mortar shelling and firing by Pakistani troops on December 31 last year.

In a joint statement, National Conference (NC) north zone president and Member of Parliament from Baramulla Muhammad Akbar Lone and party leaders Qaisar Jamsheed Lone, Kafilul-ur-Rehman and Sajad Shafi Uri impressed upon the administration to come to the rescue of the people. “Such skirmishes are no less than a terrible nightmare for the locals.

The situation in the forward posts has remained as it is since long, making the lives of locals miserable. However, it is for the first time that the spawn of such skirmishes has increased up to Karnah,” the statement said. Pakistani troops had opened fire and shelled mortars in unprovoked violations of a ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara as well as Rajouri district on December 31 last year.

In the statement, the NC leaders said that a local mosque and scores of dwellings incurred heavy losses in the incident leading to widespread distress in the Karnah region. The consequences are excruciating for the people who become “cannon fodder of such cross-border skirmishes”, they said. “These skirmishes also have a chilling effect on the economic activities of the people, dwelling in border areas and other forward posts as well. Caught between the devil and the deep sea, they aren’t able to manage their household chores and look after their farms,” the NC leaders said in the statement. The party’s leaders said peace on the border is indispensable since any fall-out there has a direct impact on the daily lives of locals.

“Ubiquitous tension on borders, besides affecting economic activities, also causes mental trepidation to the elderly and children,” they added. The NC leaders impressed upon the administration to provide immediate relief to the people whose dwellings were damaged due to the cross border shelling.

“The damage to property and livestock of the local should be assessed without delay and they should be compensated instantaneously,” they said in the statement.