The photo shows an Indian soldier near the Line of Control. — File/Reuters
MUZAFFARABAD: The unprovoked shelling by Indian troops from across the restive Line of Control (LoC) showed no signs of abatement on Monday. Five more civilians were injured in the Nakial sector amid fresh displacement of 37 families from some highly vulnerable villages.
According to officials, Indian troops kept shelling Oli Panjni and Narrala Turkundi during the day. The injured were identified as Farzana, daughter of Kafeel; Abdul Qayyum, son of Abdul Aziz; Azhar, son of Wilayat; Nasim, wife of Inayat; and Khadija, daughter of Ghayas.
Twenty-five civilians have been injured by the Indian shelling in Nakial and Tatta Pani sectors of Kotli district over the past 11 days. One woman has lost her life. Meanwhile, a “stability of Pakistan” rally was taken out in Nakial to express solidarity with the Pakistan Army and sympathy with the families affected by the Indian shelling. The rally, led by AJK Minister for Food Javed Iqbal Budhanvi, was attended by a large number of people and local leaders.
The participants carrying Pakistani and AJK flags raised slogans in favour of the Pakistan Army and freedom struggle in India-occupied Kashmir and against India.
“The shelling cannot subdue or deter us from supporting the indigenous freedom movement on the other side of the LoC,” Mr Budhanvi, who represents Nakial in the AJK Legislative Assembly, said.
“We salute people who are braving the unrelenting shelling. We pay tribute to and express solidarity with the Pakistani armed forces for defending us against Indian aggression,” he said.
Mr Budhanvi and other speakers urged the United Nations and human rights organisations to take notice of “continuous ceasefire violations by Indian troops and shelling on civilians” and play their role in defusing the tension.
The officials said Indian shelling had forced 45 families comprising 200 people to leave their homes in the Nakial sector and take refuge in rear areas. They have taken shelter in hostels of different colleges. Some families have decided to put up with their relatives.
The officials said they had also made arrangements in some other educational institutions to meet any eventuality.
“Indian troops have been firing indiscriminately, forcing us leave our homes that hardly survived some mortar shells last night,” said 20-year-old Yasir Ashraf who, along with his mother and seven siblings, had fled from Kaneth village.