July 2017 News

Civilians Bear The Brunt Of Shelling On Both Sides Of LoC

16 July 2017
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Amir Karim Tantray

Jammu: Firing and shelling by both Indian and Pakistani armies on the Line of Control (LoC) are claiming lives of people on the both sides of the border in Jammu and Kashmir. While two persons - a Territorial Army soldier and his wife - died in Pakistani shelling on July 8 in the Poonch sector, five civilians were killed on the other side of the LoC in the retaliatory fire. After violating the 2003-truce agreement, the Pakistan army released a video claiming destruction of Indian Army posts. Similar videos were captured by this side in which destruction of Pakistan army posts were visible. The Pakistan army's Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) recently claimed, 'The Pakistan army befittingly responded on July 9, causing substantial losses to men and material. Two Indian Army posts, firing on innocent civilians, have been destroyed, four Indian soldiers killed.' Firing and shelling from both sides is making the lives of people on the LoC difficult. It started from September 18 last year when the Uri terror attack happened in which 20 soldiers were killed and the Indian Army was forced to retaliate in the form of surgical strikes on September 29. 'Since September last year the LoC has been witnessing tension, which is escalating and people are facing its brunt. Intermittent firing and shelling keep people on the tenterhooks from Nowshera to Poonch and at times they are shifted to safer places. This is ruining their lives,' claimed an official of the district administration, Poonch. He said on July 8 when heavy shelling was going on the administration had to rush bulletproof vehicles to places where people were feeling insecure. 'Mostly people prefer to stay inside their homes at the time of shelling but they are evacuated to community centres whenever need arises,' he added. Similarly in the Nowshera area of Rajouri district, around 3,000 people had been staying in migrant camps since May 13 and refused to go to their homes till their issues of community and individual bunkers were addressed, he said.