India summoned the Charge d'Affaires of the Pakistan High Commission, on Saturday 14 November, to lodge a strong protest over unprovoked ceasefire violation in Jammu and Kashmir on the festive occasion of Diwali.
Six civilians and five soldiers including one BSF sub-inspector, were killed in a ceasefire violation by Pakistan, amid a major flare up at the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir on Saturday.
“Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation along the LoC spread across multiple sectors to include Dawar [Gurez tehsil of Bandipora district], Keran [Kupwara district], Uri [Baramulla district] and Naugam [Anantnag district],” a statement from the Army said, reported PTI.
What Did MEA Say?
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said, "The Charge d'Affaires of the High Commission of Pakistan was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs today and a strong protest was lodged over unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistani forces, on multiple sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir on 13 November 2020, resulting in the death of four innocent civilians and serious injuries to 19 others".
“India condemns, in the strongest terms, the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians by Pakistani forces,” MEA said.
"It is highly deplorable that Pakistan chose a festive occasion in India to disrupt peace and perpetrate violence in J&K through coordinated firing along the length of the LoC using heavy caliber weapons, including artillery and mortar on Indian civilians," the statement by India said.
Who Was the Slain BSF Sub-Inspector?
BSF officials said Sub Inspector Rakesh Doval, 39, posted at the force's artillery battery at the LoC in Baramulla was killed in the firing around 1:15 pm. Rakesh Doval is survived by his father, wife and a 9-year-old daughter, reported NDTV.
The Border Security Force (BSF) Kashmir, in a tweet, on Friday said:
“In the Cease Fire Violation started by the Pakistan, BSF Officer Sub-Inspector Rakesh Dobhal laid down his life while retaliating fittingly. @BSF_Kashmir salute your supreme sacrifice, Braveheart!”- Border Security Force, India
Second Infiltration Bid Foiled in Keran Sector
Two civilians were killed in Kamalkote sector in Baramulla district, North Kashmir while a woman was killed in Balkote area in Haji Peer sector of Uri, reported ANI.
At least three local residents were injured in the Sawjian Sector in the Pir Panjal’s Poonch due to the ceasefire violations. Several others were injured in the mortar shelling. In North Kashmir’s Bandipora, five civilians were reportedly injured after shelling hit Bagtore sector in Gurez. But they are now in a stable condition, reported The Hindu
Several people living near the LoC were seen moving to safer areas since many homes of civilians were caught in the cross fire.
Baramulla Deputy Commissioner Ghulam Nabi too told The Hindu that five civilians were injured in the firing. “Six civilians died in the shelling. Five injured civilians were shifted to Srinagar’s Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences hospital,” said Itoo
According to IANS, the army had earlier informed that it had foiled an infiltration bid at the LoC in the Keran sector, while Pakistan violated ceasefire in multiple sectors along the LoC.
The Indian Army also said that they had observed suspicious movement along the LoC in Keran sector on Friday, reported IANS.
This, according to IANS, has been the second infiltration bid within a week. The earlier attempt was in Machil sector on November 7-8 was unsuccessful, and three militants were killed reported PTI.
NDTV reported that ceasefire violations happened in Haji Peer sector of Uri, in Izmarg in Gurez sector of Bandipora district and Keran sector of Kupwara district.
ANI also reported, quoting Indian Army sources that six to seven soldiers of the Pakistan Army, including two Special Service Group (SSG) commandos have also been killed in retaliatory firing by the Indian Army in response to the ceasefire violations. 10-12 Pakistan Army soldiers have also reportedly been injured in the firing.
A number of Pakistani army bunkers, fuel dumps, launchpads were destroyed and set on fire.
Prayers With the Hapless Inhabitants of Border Areas: Twitter Reacts
The National Conference has asked both countries to consider the loss of civilian lives on both sides.
“It is the people of J&K, especially those living on both sides of the LoC or international border who have to face the brunt of skirmishes between the two countries. It’s really saddening to witness innocent lives being devoured like this. We call upon both the countries to immediately stop cross border shelling,” a NC spokesman said to The Hindu.
“My prayers with the hapless inhabitants of these areas. May sanity prevail,” said Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone, and spokesman of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, reported The Hindu.
(With inputs from ANI, PTI, Hindu, Scroll, NDTV and IANS.)