Woman killed as Pak violates ceasefire in J-K’s Nowshera; schools ordered shut
A 35-year-old woman was killed and her husband wounded after the Pakistan Army violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district early on Thursday.
Rajouri district deputy commissioner Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary told Hindustan Times a mortar hit a house in Laam area killing Akhtar Bi and injuring her 40-year-old husband Mohammad Hanief.
“Last night, Pakistan opened heavy fire on 7 to 8 villages in Naushera. Presently, intermittent exchanges are on in Bhawani area,” Choudhary said.
The official said the administration has made arrangements for evacuation from villages in the forward areas. “... We are on standby. If heavy firing and shelling resumes and if the need is felt, we shall evacuate the villagers to safer areas,” he added.
Defence spokesperson lieutenant colonel Manish Mehta said Pakistani army initiated indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics, 82 mm and 120 mm mortars from 10.40pm on Wednesday along the LoC in Naushera sector.
Indian Army posts are retaliating strongly and effectively and the firing is presently on, he added.
The district administration has directed the closure of schools in villages adjoining the LoC after the ceasefire violation, an official said. Government higher secondary schools have been earmarked as camps for migrants.
Sub-divisional magistrate Naushera Harbans and a team of doctors have been deputed for coordination and emergency response. Choudhary has also directed the essential services department to mobilise their services in case of an evacuation.
There have been regular truce violations on the LoC by Pakistani forces.
About a week ago, a rogue Pakistani army team killed and beheaded two Indian security personnel, triggering outrage across the country and prompting the government to vow a strong response.
Under the cover of heavy mortar fire, the Pakistani special forces team sneaked 250 metres across the LoC into the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch and beheaded the soldiers.
There have been six ceasefire violations this April and four in March.
The latest ceasefire violation comes close on the heels of the murder of a young Kashmiri army officer Lt Ummer Fayaz on Wednesday. Villagers found Fayaz’s body on a road in Shopian early Wednesday, a day after the 22-year-old was snatched by unidentified men from his cousin’s wedding a few kilometres away. He was shot twice.