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Jammu: Pakistan Resorted to Unprovoked Firing at LoC, 5 Killed, 2 Injured

Sagrika Kissu |
Residents ask if PM Modi's 56-inch chest can compensate the losses.
cross shelling

The Pakistan Army on Sunday morning resorted to unprovoked firing, targeting civilian areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Mendhar area of Poonch district in Jammu.

Five members of a family, including three children, were killed in the cease fire violation by the neighbouring.

Army spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand said that the firing started at around 7.45 am and continued till 11:30 am today. He said Pakistani troops “specifically targeted the civilian areas”.

Five members of the family were reportedly killed and two minors suffered injuries as the shells hit their house in Devta Dhar village in Balakote sector.

The family members are identified as Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan, his wife Malka Bi (38), their son Faizan(13), Rizwan (9). The two minors - Naureen(12) and Mehreen (6) - were critically injured and have been airlifted from Rajouri to the Government Medical College in Jammu for treatment.

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Jammu Inspector General of Police SD Singh Jamwal said, “Five people died and two suffered injuries in the attack that took place in Deota village. We are assessing the situation. Our teams are already on the spot. Helicopters have been sent to retrieve the injured for specialized treatment. Firing is still on.”

Defence spokesperson in his statement said the Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing along the LoC using small arms, 81 mm and 120 mm mortars.

"Pakistan continues in its cowardly design of targeting innocent civilians, their homes and livestock in villages close to the Line of Control. The deliberate provocation has resulted in loss of five precious and innocent civilian lives," he said, adding that the "Indian Army has retaliated strongly, effectively and proportionately to the dastardly act".

However, this is not the first time that civilians living at the bordering areas are suffering because of the undeclared war between India and Pakistan.

In Feburary, a woman named Praveen Akhtar had died after being hit by a bullet fired by the Pakistani troops along LoC in Pkukherni and Lairan villages of Noushera, Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Recently, Newsclick visited the bordering areas to assess the lives of people living at borders. Sakshi, who has been a victim of the shelling by Pakistani troops at Suchetgarh village, RS pura district Jammu told this correspondent, “We don’t want a war between India and Pakistan. They should talk peacefully and come to a solution. My daughter is partially blind because of the shelling. We are always in a constant fear and government is doing nothing for us.” On October 25, 2016, a mortar shell fell at Sakshi’s house in the wee hours injuring four females of the house.

There is no fixed time for shelling and when the firing is scheduled the villagers are asked to evacuate the village so that there is no injury. "There are no bunkers established at the moment. We go to stay at our friends and relatives place at the time of firing. At times, the firing goes on for 2 months, we can't stay at someone's place for this long," Sakshi said, adding that, there is no compensation. "When my daughter got blinded by the shell, no MLA visited us, until it was circulated through media and the pressure was built on them."

Another victim in the same village with his one arm fractured due to shelling said,"Besides physical injuries, shelling inflicts financial loss to our families. Last month, my two buffaloes died as the motar shell fell on our house. The government compensated for one buffalo but there was no compensation for another. Earlier, I used to sell 40kgs of milk. Now it's reduced to mere 10kgs. It's a financial loss. How will I feed my family."

The construction of 14,460 bunkers at a cost of  Rs 415.73 crore has only just been approved on 14th March 2018 after a visit by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, almost four years after the current government came into power.

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