Artillery shells, bullets rain for hours in Nowgam, Keran, Karnah, Boniyar, Machil
Baramulla: A labourer succumbed to shell injuries and five other civilians, including a woman who was shifted to Srinagar due to the seriousness of her injuries, were wounded after troops of India and Pakistan exchanged heavy firing and shelling at several places along the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s Kupwara and Baramulla districts on Friday.
Arif Ahmad Chachi, son of Alaf din Chachi, a resident of Shamspora Karnah, succumbed to his injuries in hospital. Social worker Fayaz Ahmad of Karnah, a neighbour of the deceased, informed Kashmir Reader in the evening.
Official sources said that Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire and targeted different Indian Army posts in Nowgam village in police district Handwara in the wee hours of Friday. They said that the Indian troops retaliated and gave a befitting response.
Soon after the firing in Nowgam sector, the Pakistani forces started firing and shelling in Keran and Karnah villages in Kupwara district and then in Boniyar sector of Baramulla district, which continued for hours.
Official sources said the Pakistani forces fired heavy artillery towards the Indian side in all four sectors of Nowgam, Keran, Karnah and Boniyar. They said the Indian Army retaliated in all the four sectors.
Fayaz Ahmad of Karnah said that the firing and shelling was very heavy compared to the past, due to which fear gripped the population living close to the LoC.
He identified two injured civilians as Syed Rafaqat Hussain Shah and Mohammad Yaqoob Mir of Baghballa Karnah. He said they and Arif Ahmad Chachi, who died of his injuries, were working as labourers at a construction site when a shell hit them. All three were shifted to hospital where Chachi succumbed.
Fayaz Ahmad said that several people took shelter in the ground floor of houses while several others sent their children to other villages.
Local sources said that three civilians were injured by shells in Keran village. They identified the injured as Hamida Begum, 40, wife of Mohammad Akbar, Zakir Ahmad Khan, 24, and Nasser Ahmad Khan, 30, all residents of Rangward area of the Keran village.
All three were taken to the nearby Sub-District Hospital (SDH) Kralpora from where the woman was shifted to Srinagar for advanced treatment. The local sources said that several houses were partially damaged in Keran and Karnah villages after shells hit them.
In Boniyar village of Baramulla, firing continued for hours, local sources said, adding that both the armies fired at each other with machine guns and then with mortars. The sound of artillery guns was also heard.
There has been no report of any injury or death as yet in the firing.
Srinagar-based spokesperson of Indian Army, Lt Col Rajash Kalia, said that Pakistan violated the ceasefire without provocation in Nowgam and Tangdar of Kupwara on Friday morning by firing mortars and other weapons, to which the Indian forces gave a befitting response.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kupwara AS Dinkar said that as per his report, six civilians were injured in cross-LoC firing on Friday.
“Further details are awaited,” the SSP told Kashmir Reader.
After Nowgam, Keran, Karnah and Boniyar, cross-LoC shelling started in Machil village of Kupwara on Friday evening in which both the armed forces used small arms and automatic weapons, army said.