AMRITSAR, Punjab, India: A fresh migration of Hindu families has been reported from the border districts of Amritsar and Gurdaspur, due to the scare of the activities of the gunmen.
According to the Deputy Commission of Gurdaspur, Mr. Kallah, the migration of the Hindus from this district was alarming. Whereas the police chief of the district termed it as massive and unprecedented. The D.C. Amritsar, Dalbir Singh said migration has taken place mostly in villages where violence is escalating. Hundreds of Hindu families from both Gurdaspur and Amritsar district have migrated to areas like Haryana, Delhi, and Himachal Pardesh. Total of 117 families have migrated out of Punjab since January 1, according to the D.C. of Gurdaspur. Further the D.C. of Gurdaspur disclosed that 86 families, 13 from Dehra Baba Nanak, and Fateh Garh Sahib, 3 from Dhariwal, 8 from Thana area. All these 68 families have shifted to other areas within the district. 15 families have gone to other places of Punjab and as many as 24 outside Punjab, mostly, to Jamuna Nagar in Haryana. Kallah said that he had no reports that these families had disposed of their properties or land before migrating. In fact, they have locked their homes in the villages and take away only the valuables. The other thing he has said that migrants were mostly shopkeepers and commission agents or persons doing petty jobs. While migrated but took all their belongings in carts and dollies nobody in their village stopped them from going. Giving reasons for the migration, the D.C. admitted that the authorities failed to provide adequate safety to their lives and properties. The Police Chief J.P. Virdi has said that killings, threats and extortion of money were some of the factors which forced Hindu families to migrate. A survey is being conducted to find out the exact number of families who have migrated. The police chief in reply to a question said that the authorities in Chandigarh had been informed but there was silence so far. The D.C. said main cause of the migration was the 63 killings which took place in the beginning of this year and in apprehension that there would be more killings in the coming period arising out of report that Pakistan trained gunmen had freshly infiltrated into India with sophisticated weapons. The D.C. said that the intelligence report confirmed that trained freedom fighters including some members of the Panthic Committee have arrived India.
Article extracted from this publication >> March 25, 1988