Securing the perimeter: Punjab border evacuation begins

Punjab Evacuation

Earlier, on Thursday Badal put the entire government and political machinery in an emergency mode following reports of developments on the India-Pakistan border.

However things took an unexpected turn and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said nearly 916 border area villages are being evacuated.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Badal on phone in the morning to request him to immediately start the process of evacuation of people residing in villages falling within 10 km of the international border in view of the escalating situation.

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Following instructions from the Centre, Punjab has ordered the evacuation of people from villages falling within 10 km of the border with Pakistan after India conducted surgical strikes across the LoC on Wednesday night.

After chairing a Cabinet meeting to review the situation in the wake of the Centre’s advisory, Badal congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government for taking the bold step.

“I have personally called all MLAs in border districts and asked them to help in evacuation. While all schools in border areas have been closed, officers on leave have been recalled,” the CM said.

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Depending on the situation people will have to remain out of the border area villages, he said.

Chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal said among the affected villages 135 are in Taran Taran, 65 in Pathankot and 16 in Fazilka.

Nearly 1,500 police and PAP jawans have been deployed as the second line of defence in the border areas.