Child also dead as India, Pak armies trade fire along the de-facto border
Poonch, July 17: A soldier hailing from Tral area of Pulwama district and a child were killed in two separate incidents of Pakistan firing along Line of Control in Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu Division.
Officials said that the Pakistani army troops targeted Indian posts at 7:30 am Manjkote sector of Rajouri today. In the firing and shelling, one army trooper hailing from Buchoo village of Tral who has been identified as 37 year old Naik Mudasir Ahmad was killed. Although he was referred to MI hospital but he succumbed.
They said that another soldier, also hailing from Kashmir’s Kulgam, was injured along with two civilians. The soldier has been identified as Naik Firdous Ahmad.
All the injured were shifted to hospital for treatment. The officials said that the Indian army retaliated effectively to the Pakistani fire. The slain Kashmiri soldier is survived by his wife and two children. A pale of gloom descended upon his village in Buchoo when news about his killing reached.
In Balakote sector of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district, an eight year girl was killed in Pakistan firing. The troops of Pakistan and India exchanged gunfire and mortars in the area along LoC after Pakistan violated ceasefire, officials said. The situation was tense along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts.
District Administration ordered closure of all schools early morning however 120 students were held up in Government School at Panjgrain and on report of headmaster senior officers coordinated for their safe evacuation as shelling was reported of have affected nearby area.
District Magistrate, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary accompanied by SSP Yougal Manhas, ACD Noor Alam, AC Defence Abdul Qayoom, CEO Lal Hussain and other senior officers rushed to forward areas to oversee arrangements for likely evacuation and emergency response. They also held meeting with locals at Panjgrain and briefed about preparedness. The DM briefed the locals about necessary arrangements kept in place for establishment of camps in case of any likely evacuation, provision of ration supply in affected villages, essential services and coordination for rescue. First aid medicines, tents, ration and other requisite items have been rushed as reserve.
The schools closed for an indefinite period include Primary Schools Sharmabasti, Korapani, Nangal, Tadyalla, Chakwa, Trutta Dhara, Mahal Rajdhani, Kalvatra Mohalla, Lal Beig, Rependi, Kotedhar, Chakli; Middle Schools Naika, Kundinakkar, Paryali, Lambibari and High Schools Khorinar and Dhar. An order for closure of schools was issued by the Deputy Commissioner soon after reports of heavy shelling in Manjakote. SDPO Manjakote Imtiaz Ahmed coordinate rescue at LoC while Tehsildar Mehmood Ahmed coordinated arrangements in villages as well as for camps. AC Defence and Tehsildar Manjakote have been deputed as nodal officers for emergency response and providing required relief.
District Administration sounded alert and advised the residents to stay indoors and field officers have been deputed for coordination. HS Ghambir Brahmna, HSS Kakora, HSS Manjakote, Panchayat Ghar and other locations have been notified as camps for likely evacuation. Four ambulances were rushed to Ghambir, Panjgrain and Manjakote. DC and senior officers also visited CHC Manjakote and proposed relief camps. Two ambulances were stationed in Ghambir Brahmna.
Meanwhile joint teams of Health, Revenue, Animal Husbandry, Sheep Husbandry, Agriculture and other departments have also been deputed for loss assessment, damage report and providing required assistance.
India and Pakistan armies also exchanged fire and shells along the LoC in Kamalkote sector of Uri in Baramulla district. One soldier was reported injured from this side but there was no official confirmation. (GNS)
Pak bans tourists from Neelum Valley
Pakistan has banned tourists from a Valley in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, a day after it said four of its soldiers drowned after their vehicle was hit by Indian gunfire and plunged into the Neelum River.
Choudhary Mohammad Fareed, a top government official in Neelum, says the “threat” to people is too great and that no new tourists would be able to enter. The stay permits for those already in the valley will not be extended.
Picturesque Neelum Valley stretches along the boundary separating the Pakistani- and the India-controlled parts of Kashmir and draws many tourists.
Both nuclear-armed states claim the disputed Kashmir region in its entirety. Pakistan and India often trade fire across the dividing line, blaming each other for violations of the cease-fire agreement signed in 2003.