Skip to main content

Indo-Pak shelling leaves trail of destruction in Kashmir villages, witnesses recount horror

By Irfan Yattoo* 
It was 11 am on November 13, when Mohammad Sadeeq Koli, a teacher at Government Middle School Chrunda village of Uri in northern Kashmir, was busy with 8th class examination when all of a sudden shelling started at Line of Control (LoC).
The school which has a total roll of over 100 students is situated barely one kilometer away from the LoC of Haji Peer sector of Uri.
Koli said when the shelling started on November 13 maximum students had attempted few questions and they left the examination centre midway.
The school teacher said the students screamed which left them frightened. First we thought shelling would stop after some time but it continued till late evening.
He said the shelling caused panic among the school staff as well.
“We were confused what to do. After some time, parents reached the school and took out their wards hurriedly,” he said.
“Peace is the solution to avoid such incidents in future and both countries should understand it and should stop targeting civil areas,” Koli said.
He said his family stayed in their cowshed for the whole day without food.
“People of border areas are mostly unemployed and the shelling brings more miseries to the people,” said Koli.
“We always live in fear. Either the administration should shift us from border areas or they should create an atmosphere of peace between the two countries,” he said.
On November 13, five soldiers including a BSF sub-inspector and four civilians, were reportedly killed as Indian and Pakistan Army resorted to shelling along LoC from Gurez to Uri sectors.
Lal Din Khatana, a Sarpanch of Charunda village of Haji Pir sector said three houses were damaged in Friday’s shelling in his locality and several civilians were injured.
“From the past 30 years, we haven’t seen such kind of shelling in this sector as we could not move from one place to another during the whole day. We have never seen such fear and horror,” he said.
He said although the local administration is constructing community bunkers in the area in which five have been already completed but there is need for individual bunkers for every house to protect families.
“To reach to community bunker is itself a big hurdle because during cross border shelling even people fear to move from one room to another,” he said.
The locals here say that the administration should construct more individual bankers across the mountainous region, to save the precious lives in times of shelling.
Balkot is another village near the LoC which has also seen shelling over the years. On November 13 also more than four residential structures were damaged due to shelling.
Bashir Ahmad Dar, of Balkot village said his house was fully damaged in cross border shelling. Dar said both sides civilian areas were targeted till 6 in the evening. It was non-stop firing. It was the first time such scenes were witnessed in the area.
“No one among the local administration came here during the first two days. We have never seen such shelling over the past 30 years,” he said.
Mushtaq Ahmad Niyazi, a local from Silikot said they will never forget the November 13 shelling calling it a doomsday.
“I along with my friend were preparing for bank exams and suddenly firing started on the LoC. We spent the entire day in our neighbor’s cowshed,” he said.
Sub District Magistrate, Uri, Reyaz Ahmad Malik said four causalities including a woman have been reported in Uri belt. Around 13-14 people had been also injured, he said. 
“The causalities were reported in Balkot, Bandi Sarai and Sultan Daki villages of Kamalkot sector and Haji Peer sectors,” he said.
Malik said there are around two dozen structures that have suffered damage due to the shelling. These include four residential structures that are completed damaged.
Inspector General of BSF Kashmir, Rajesh Mishra said that in recent cross border shelling across the LoC, Pakistan used heavy artillery, weapons due to which civilians areas were targeted and forces also suffered losses.
Mishra said on, November 13, Pakistan started unprovoked ceasefire violations across LoC, using artillery, mortars, and other weapons and targeted civilian areas.
---
*Journalist based in Srinagar

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

How green revolution led to 'deterioration' of Punjab economy, land, air and water

By Dr Gian Singh*  A recent research paper, based on a survey of 320 farming families in four districts of Punjab, has tried to show that high crop densities and the use of inputs have led to degradation of land, air, water and humans through a rich agricultural structure. Although mechanization has increased agricultural productivity, it has also caused environmental degradation.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Abysmal deficit of water, food waste recycle treatment 'impacting' Chennai life

By Simi Mehta*  We are living in a state where the most basic needs like food and water are not assured to the people residing in the urban areas, which account for the biggest sources of food and water wastage. Socio-economic inequality in society which is pervasive in urban areas is one of the main reasons for this.