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Jammu Kashmir

Posted at: Jun 14, 2018, 12:43 AM; last updated: Jun 14, 2018, 12:43 AM (IST)

Devotees at Chamliyal had narrow escape

Devotees at Chamliyal had narrow escape
The Baba Chamliyal shrine and BSF border outpost near the International Border in Samba. Tribune Photo: Inderjeet Singh

Dinesh Manhotra

Tribune News Service

Jammu, June 13

The nightmarish experience Mukesh Prasad of Bihar witnessed on the intervening night of June 12 and 13 at the Baba Chamliyal shrine on the Indo-Pak border is likely to haunt him for the rest of his life. He, along with other devotees, had a narrow escape when it rained mortars and bullets from across the border.

Along with other 35 other devotees from different parts of the country, Prasad (32) had to spend the whole night under cover to stay safe in the cross-border firing.

Rooms are available for the devotees on the premises of the shrine, but it was the fear of the deafening shelling which made most of the non-locals spend the entire night in a single room.

“Firing and mortar shelling started without any provocation from across the border,” Chetan Sharma, the head priest of the shrine, told The Tribune, adding, “Majority of the devotees were sitting in the open when shelling started at 10.30 pm and continued till 2 am.”

Prasad and his relative Dheeraj Kumar had come all the way from Bihar in a hope that their skin disease would be cured and were living on the premises of the holy shrine for the one week.

Like Prasad, over 35 devotees are undergoing skin treatment at the shrine despite tension on the border for the last three months. Situated on the Zero Line of the Indo-Pak border, the shrine has gained prominence all over the country. A popular belief is that the soil and water from the shrine can cure skin diseases. It draws devotees from as far as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.

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