Churanda: The Hajipir ranges around Uri appear very calm in fresh snow but a familiar noise is again catching up with villagers, booming guns, both small and big. And finding sand-witched in the current LoC hostilities is Churanda village.
The village which was the epicentre of the latest skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani troops can only be reached by walking through the dirt tracks and three feet deep snow.
For the last four months Churanda - the last village on Indian side of LoC - has seen repeated pounding from Pakistan. On Sunday, January 6 - a village resident Mohammad Din could have lost all 17 members had the killer shell not landed on the far edge of his house.
"Seventeen people are putting up in this house, the cattle was here, god saved us. Our houses got destroyed," Din said. Talking about the living situation in the village, Din said that they live like how sick people live in hospitals. "Our children, cattle live with us. We can neither live nor leave this place," Din said.
Luckily, all the 17 members including the head of the family survived. However, on October 16, 2012, three members of another family were killed in Pakistani shelling and firing.
Since then the village has been restless. Din's relative Motiyian said, "When we go to bed in the night we are uncertain whether we will wake up alive in the morning."
Indian army says the latest skirmishes - that triggered the current border hostilities in Churanda, Uri and later in Mendhar where two Indian soldiers were killed and mutilated - had started in this sector all of a sudden and without any reason by the Mujahid regiment of Pakistani army that was shifted few months back, an army officer said pounding on this side has become a rule since then and often civilians bear the brunt.
Opposite this Churanda village is Sarjiwar village where most of the Pakistani posts are located and they continually are firing at the villages since October leaving these children and elders fear-stricken.
Left despondent, villagers dotting the Indo-Pak boundary are praying hard for hostilities to end. They love it the most when the two rival armies are talking peace and not at war.