Young AJK tractor driver killed in Indian firing from across the LoC

Published November 15, 2019
Muhammad Ali was ploughing a field in Nali village near the LoC when a single bullet struck him in the neck. — AFP/File
Muhammad Ali was ploughing a field in Nali village near the LoC when a single bullet struck him in the neck. — AFP/File

A young tractor driver lost his life in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Friday after an Indian soldier hit him from across the restive Line of Control (LoC) in what officials termed as yet another incident of “targeted killing”.

Muhammad Ali was ploughing a field in Nali village, just a stone’s throw from the unmarked dividing line in tehsil Barnala, when a single bullet struck him in the neck, according to Ansar Mahmood, a police official based in the area.

“The 20-year-old fell from the tractor and died on the spot,” he added.

The deceased, an orphan who eked out a living by driving someone’s tractor, was laid to rest in his native Seri village in Samahni tehsil of Bhimber district in the evening.

According to officials, people living in the closest proximity of the LoC while doing different chores often end up falling victims to targeted firing by trigger-happy Indian troops.

“It is a brutal act of targeted killing, something for which Indian troops stationed at the LoC have gained notoriety over the years,” said Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, AJK’s senior minister, who also belongs to Bhimber district.

“He (Ali) is the latest victim of the cowardly and dreadful Indian practice of purposely targeting unarmed and innocent civilians in AJK with high calibre weapons even when the ceasefire line is apparently calm,” he added.

Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider also took to Twitter to condemn the latest incident of firing along the LoC.

“...Skirmishes and artillery duels between rival troops are not something uncustomary in a conflict zone but hitting non-combatant civilians in such a fashion is typical of the coward Indian army. Shame on them,” he wrote.

According to Syed Shahid Mohyiddin Qadri, secretary of the AJK government’s disaster management authority, the LoC has been regularly witnessing ceasefire violations by the Indian army, notwithstanding the November 2003 truce agreement, and as a result civilian casualties have also been regularly occurring.

During the ongoing year, as many as 56 civilians have lost their lives and another 266 sustained injuries in different parts of AJK due to firing by Indian troops, he said.

Opinion

Awaiting orders
25 Oct 2021

Awaiting orders

Orders are given for demolition. Some structures go down. Some still stand.
Is it our own?
25 Oct 2021

Is it our own?

It is fair to ask what truly determines our success.
Up, up and away
Updated 25 Oct 2021

Up, up and away

Irate Twitterati want Superman to stop meddling.
No-trust resolution dynamics
Updated 24 Oct 2021

No-trust resolution dynamics

It is heartening that the effort to remove a chief minister is following constitutional norms.

Editorial

25 Oct 2021

Party to a vile campaign

THE PTI government’s hostility towards the media and its intolerance for dissent is well known. The target of ...
Financial crisis
Updated 25 Oct 2021

Financial crisis

DESPITE having progressed to ‘very good step’ and being ‘close to concluding the agreement’ a few days back,...
25 Oct 2021

Morals and Pemra

TIME and again, Pemra has come under fire for issuing arbitrary instructions to TV channels on matters ranging from...
Anti-government rallies
Updated 24 Oct 2021

Anti-government rallies

Banning a party because it can create a public nuisance sets a dangerous precedent which can be repeated to justify future bans.
24 Oct 2021

End of polio?

AFTER a long struggle, the reward is finally in sight. With only a single case of wild poliovirus reported this year...
24 Oct 2021

Heritage work

IT is encouraging that, slowly, projects of heritage conservation and preservation appear to be taking off. These...