As Pakistan resorted to violation of the ceasefire during the harvesting reason, fear gripped border dwellers of the plains of Jammu. Border residents have reasons to be worried because tension on the frontiers would cause huge losses to their Kharif crops, especially during the reaping season.

Two BSF personnel were injured on October 17 when Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing on an Indian post in Arnia.

This incident happened near the Vikram Border Outpost of the International Border. Two soldiers of the Border Security Force were getting the work of electrical lights done. It was at a distance of about 60 meters from the border and about 1500 meters from the border outpost Vikram.

Border fencing
New design fence on Indo-Pakistan borderHome Ministry Report

Why border residents are worried?

Inhabitants of border areas are worried because the harvesting season of the Kharif crop has almost started in the plains of Jammu province.

The border belt of Jammu province-comprising Kathua, Samba, and Jammu districts, is known as the rice bowl of the Union Territory. Firing from across the border would delay the harvesting of the world-famous Basmati of Jammu province.

"It would not be possible for us to start harvesting in case of firing from across the border", Ravi Kumar, paddy grower of border village Treva told The International Bussiness Times. He said that the unprecedented windstorm has already caused huge damage to all Kharif crops. Basmati is a premium crop and gives good returns to the paddy growers of the plains of Jammu.

An Indian Sikh farmer plants paddy cutt
An Indian Sikh farmer plants paddygettyimages

The Basmati variety grown in the Jammu plains exclusively in Jammu Samba and Kathua districts is famous for its long grain and fragrance. This variety has natural pest resistance. Unlike other parts of the country, the per-hectare use of pesticides is less in the plains of Jammu.

Jammu produces one lakh metric tonnes of exotic varieties of basmati rice in Jammu, Samba, and Kathua districts in areas along the 198-km International Border with Pakistan.

The areas where basmati is produced in Jammu fall between the flood plains of the river Chenab, the Tawi, the Basantar river, and scores of rivulets which bring mineral-rich soil from the Himalayas and the Shivaliks mountains during rains.

Estimates indicate that 50,000 hectares in the state are under cultivation of different basmati varieties. About 40,000 hectares fall in Jammu district and 10,000 hectares in Samba and Kathua.

BSF foundation day today.
BSF foundation day today.IANS

BSF already lodged protest with Pakistan Rangers

After the unprovoked firing from across the border, the Border Security Force (BSF) has already lodged a protest with Pakistan Rangers.

A day after the violation of ceasefire violation by Pakistan, the BSF highlighted the issue at a commandant-level flag meeting held at a border outpost (BoP) along the International Border (IB) in the RS Pura sector.

The BSF also raised the issue of smuggling of narcotics from across the border at the meeting and said that they have pictorial evidence of smugglers who have been killed by the force.

A fresh ceasefire was announced in 2021

On February 25, 2021, India and Pakistan announced to strictly adhere to a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in J&K.

The director generals of military operations of India and Pakistan reviewed the situation along the Line of Control (Loc) and all other sectors and agreed upon achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders since then not a single shot has been fired along the IB and 744-km LoC thereby bringing relief to the hapless villagers on either side of the border.