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Elderly woman killed as Pak violates ceasefire along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir

A 65-year-old lady was killed and another critically injured when Pakistani troops violated ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Balakote sector of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

Officials said Rashem Bi and Hakam Bi, both elderly women, got injured at around 3 AM when Pakistan army resorted to heavy mortar shelling along the LoC villages of Balakote. “Both the injured were shifted to a nearby medical facility where Resham Bi was declared brought dead,” police said.

Block Medical Officer Mendhar, Dr. Parvez Khan said the intensity of shelling was heavy and they had to rush around eight ambulances to the area to ensure timely shifting of all the casualties.

Defence spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand said, “around 0200 hours, Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and then resorted to intense shelling along the LoC in Balakote and Mendhar sectors. Indian Army retaliated befittingly. The firing stopped at about 0245 hours.”

There has been a huge surge in ceasefire violations (CVFs) by Pakistan along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir this year with 411 instances reported in June only. Official data reveals there have been over 2300 ceasefire violations along the LoC this year. A total of 3168 CFVs were recorded in 2019, and 1629 in 2018.

The government of India led by then Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee had entered into a border ceasefire agreement with Pakistan along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir on November 26, 2003. However, according to officials shelling and firing by Pakistani troops since last year is so heavy that virtually it has made the 2003 truce redundant.

India shares a 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan, of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.

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