MUZAFFARABAD: One more innocent civilian in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) was martyred and two others were injured on Friday amid unrelenting ceasefire violations by Indian Army from across the restive Line of Control (LoC), officials said.
The latest fatality occurred in Hillaan Bala village of Haveli district shortly after Indian troops resorted to shelling in Hajipir sector at about 11:30am “without any provocation”, said a police officer based in the area.
The deceased, 75-year-old Atra’n Bibi, wife of Muhammad Iqbal, was sitting in the courtyard of her house when a shell fell close to her soon after the beginning of shelling, added the official.
AJK premier urges world community to break silence over excesses by Indian troops
Indian troops also shelled the Nezapir sector in Haveli district and Khilana and Leepa sectors in neighbouring Jhelum valley, but no casualties were reported from there immediately, said Syed Shahid Mohyiddin Qadri, the AJK’s secretary for disaster management and civil defence.
The Goi and Nakyal sectors in Kotli district were also heavily shelled by Indian troops that left two persons injured and some houses badly damaged, according to initial reports.
Sardar Umar Farooq, an assistant commissioner in Kotli district, said the injured were Rehmatullah, 70, and Khatoon Begum, 22, who belong to Datot village.
He told Dawn the shelling had been “very intense and indiscriminate” since the evening, which had made it difficult for the administration to ascertain details about the human and material losses.
Residents in different areas said that Pakistani troops had responded effectively to the Indian shelling.
The heavily militarised LoC that splits the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir has been witnessing skirmishes and artillery duels in a serious breach of a truce agreement that the rival armies had signed in November 2003.
According to civilian and military sources, the Indian Army had committed over 1,050 ceasefire violations in the current year, which had left eight civilians martyred and 100 others injured.
Apart from the casualties, enemy shelling had destroyed 23 houses and five shops and partially damaged 212 houses, they said.
Condemning the shelling on unarmed civilian populations in different sectors, AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider asked the United Nations and the international community to “give up their silence” over the worst human rights and ceasefire violations by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir and along the LoC, before it was too late.
“Before the ever-worsening human rights situation in occupied Kashmir and undeclared war along the ceasefire line [LoC] spells disaster for the entire globe, the UN and international community should give up their silence and play their mandated role for the peaceful settlement of the core issue of Kashmir in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people,” he said in a statement.
Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2020