Schools reopened yesterday across Punjab border areas

The schools in the border areas of Punjab, which had been closed in the immediate aftermath of surgical strikes carried out by Indian Army in Pakistan-Occupied- Kashmir, reopened on Wednesday as life returned to normal in the state.

The schools had been closed after war-like situation had developed in both the countries after it was revealed that Indian Army had carried major operation in PoK as a response to the terror attacks on Uri base camp of Indian Army.

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However, this reopening does not ensures a full fledged attendance as most, “Children studying in schools have left the villages with their families and moved to safer locations. How can they be expected to attend classes? Only children from families which have not moved out or are living nearby came to attend classes today,” a teacher in Attari village in Amritsar said.

Even the political parties are not too far behind in attacking the incumbent government as far as they could and Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh on Wednesday asked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to explain why the residents of the border areas could not stay in their homes when schools were being reopened there.

“What is the point in opening the schools when you are forcing people to evacuate (their homes)? You are clearly losing it,” the veteran Congress leader said in a statement here.

He also added that “the state government’s decision to open the schools in the border areas clearly vindicated the Congress’ stand that the Akali-BJP government was just whipping up war hysteria in the border areas for its political ends.”

“Who will go to the schools when there is nobody staying in those areas. In fact, neither schools should have been closed nor evacuations carried out in the first instance,” he had said.

Not offering much fodder to such diatribes, the Punjab government ordered, on Tuesday, that all the schools in the border belt of the state should be reopened from Wednesday.

According to the education minister, Daljit Singh Cheema, “All schools in border belt will open from Wednesday. These had been closed due to security reasons.”

The closing had been ordered as a part of safety measure to ensure no casualties, especially in those villages which lie within 10 km of international border of Pakistan. The evacuation had affected around 1000 villages and over a population of 400,000.

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