A man lost his life in Azad Jammu and Kashmir's (AJK) Poonch district on Tuesday as Indian snipers resumed targeted attacks from across the Line of Control (LoC), police officials told Dawn.
The casualty occurred in Dara Sher Khan village of Battal sector in Hajira subdivision at 12:15pm, when the victim was trimming a tree in the courtyard of his house, local police official Muhammad Aziz told Dawn.
“It was a single shot that hit the 55-year-old victim in the head, and he fell off the tree and died on the spot,” Aziz added.
The victim’s family rushed him to a health facility in Tatta Pani — located 7 kilometres ahead of Dara Sher Khan — where the doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.
The deceased was identified as Muzaffar Chaudhry alias Mangu.
Relatives and other residents staged a demonstration in Tatta Pani to condemn unprovoked ceasefire violations across the LoC and express support for anti-India struggle.
The heavily militarised LoC has been frequently witnessing ceasefire violations particularly after September 2016, in a serious breach of a truce agreement signed by two armies in November 2003.
Apart from heavy mortar shelling, Indian troops have resorted to deliberate targeting of civilians with small arms while they are doing daily chores in vulnerable areas along the LoC in AJK.
However, for more than two weeks, the LoC was silent as the last casualties in the region were reported on April 26, when two civilians were killed and as many wounded in heavy mortar shelling by Indian troops in Chamb sector of Bhimber district.
According to State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), the latest casualty has pushed the death toll in the ongoing year to 21, including 15 males and 6 females, while another 119 persons were injured.
Commenting on the violation, AJK’s senior minister Chaudhry Tariq Farooq maintained that wilful targeting of unarmed civilians from across the LoC were highly condemnable acts by Indian Army, repugnant to global human rights, humanitarian laws and human dignity.
“Pity the cowardly government and army in India that derives pleasure from innocent civilian killings,” he said.
In 2017, 46 civilians were killed in such attacks and another 262 wounded, while the number of the deceased and injured persons in 2016 was 41 and 142 respectively, the SDMA said.