MUZAFFARABAD: A 25-year-old inadvertent crosser from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) was shot dead by Indian troops at the Line of Control (LoC) in what was the second such killing on their part in less than a week, reports said on Saturday.

An Indian media outlet claimed that a “Pakistani intruder” was shot to death in the Balakot area of Mendhar subdivision of Poonch district when “he was attempting to slip into their side of the LoC.”

Family of the deceased, identified as Mohammad Ta’araf Mughal, and AJK official sources disputed Indian media claims.

According to them, Mr Ta’araf had left his home in Lanjot village of Kotli district’s Nakyal sector at 10am on Friday to graze domestic livestock in the nearby forests along the unmarked dividing line as a matter of routine.

“When he did not return [home] in the evening, the family reported his disappearance to Nakyal police station,” an official source said, adding, it was on Saturday that the family and other residents came to know from the internet that he had been killed on the other side.

Visuals at Indian websites showed the postmortem of the bullet-riddled body had been conducted. However, it was not announced as to when the body would be repatriated to AJK.

Earlier on May 15, Parveen Fatima, a 65-year-old wi­­dow from the Pandu sector of AJK’s Jhelum valley dis­trict, was also mercilessly killed by the Indian army after she had strayed across the LoC while picking some medicinal plants.

Her body was handed over to the Pak­istani authorities via Kaman Bridge at the Chakothi-Uri crossing point on the following day.­­

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2023

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