Apparently for lack of basic amenities and continued tension between India and Pakistan, Tarkundi village on the Line of Control (LoC) in this sector has almost disappeared. From 43 families residing in the village in 1947, there is just one left.
Located on the edge of the LoC, the village is a picture of neglect. The only family with just two male members has been struggling hard to cope. In the last election, the authorities set up a polling booth for just six voters in the village.
It lacks basic facilities like water and electricity and there is no telephone. One of the residents told The Hindu that this was the basic reason for the migrations which have taken place from time to time. “We do not know what TV or radio means,” said Babu Khan, who has recently shifted to a safer place in the same area.
Tarkundi falls in Balakot block and is 32 km from Mendhar tehsil in Poonch. According to available records, 43 Muslim families lived here in 1947. The number reduced to 31 in 1962 and during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war most people chose to migrate to the other side and only 17 families stayed. As per the 1987 election records 210 voters were registered in Tarkundi and that number has plummeted to just six now. Locals say the others left between 1988 and 2009, following heightened tension on both sides due to armed rebellion which broke out in the State in late 1989.
Most migrated to Forward Tarkundi, Kotli and Mirpur in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. They claim that the other side is better off with road connectivity, water, electricity and telephone facilities.