India summons Pakistan Deputy HC over ceasefire violations, lodges strong protest

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New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) India on Monday summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah and lodged a “strong protest” over the loss of lives of five Indian civilians in unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistan from across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

“The Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan, Syed Haider Shah was summoned today and strong protest was lodged at the loss of lives of five innocent Indian civilians (a family comprising husband, wife and three children) and grievous injuries to two other minor children in unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistan forces on March 18, 2018 in Bhimber Gali Sector across the Line of Control in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

“It was conveyed that the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, who are located two kilometeres away from the forward line of defences, by Pakistan forces using high calibre weapons, is highly deplorable and is condemned in the strongest terms. Such heinous acts are against established humanitarian norms and professional military conduct,” the statement said.

“Pakistan authorities are called upon to investigate into such heinous acts and instruct its forces to desist from such acts immediately.”

Five members of a family were killed and two others critically injured on Sunday in Pakistan shelling on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, police said.

According to the police, the Pakistan Army resorted to indiscriminate shelling and firing on the civilian areas and a shell hit the house of a civilian identified as Muhammad Ramzan Chowdhary, killing him, his wife Malka Bi and three sons. His two daughters were critically injured.”

In its statement on Monday, the External Affairs Ministry said that India’s strong concerns were shared with the Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner at continued unprovoked firing and ceasefire violations across the Line of Control and the International Border.

“More than 560 such violations have been carried out by Pakistan forces at the Line of Control so far during 2018 in which 23 Indian civilians have been killed and 70 other have been injured.

“The Pakistan side was also asked to end the support being given to cross border infiltration of terrorists, including through covering fire,” it said.



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