Senior National Conference MLA Javed Rana on Sunday courted controversy by challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to unfurl a tricolour in Lahore.
Addressing the public at the funeral of five members of a family killed in shelling by Pakistan, NC MLA from Mendhar in Poonch district, Rana said, “People living on the border are getting crushed between the ceasefire violations. If Modi has courage, he should go ahead and unfurl tricolour in Lahore, or else leave Kashmir and forget this issue,” said a report by India TV said.
At least people living at the border will not become victims of the tussle between two countries, added Rana, who is known for making controversial statements from time to time, the report mentioned.
Earlier on Sunday, the artillery duels led to the annihilation of a family. Of the seven-member family, only two minor girls survived. Incidentally, one of the two surviving girls is stated to be critical and is yet to be out of danger, sources in Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu said.
“They were having morning tea and all of them were in the room,” Yasmeena’s one of the young females attending the two injured sisters in the GMC said. “Suddenly a bomb exploded in the house and five of them were dead.”
The family of Ramzan was a poor one. He was a labourer who would earn by working for others to raise his family. Almost all the five kids – three sons and two daughters – were enrolled in different schools. They were living in a Gujjar Kotha that was made of timber and soil.
“They were living in Deveta village which is part of the Balakote block and is closer to Rajouri than Poonch,” Yasmeen said. “It is almost 45 km from Rajouri.”
The village, according to her has around 40 families living and most of them make their living by putting up hard labour, raising herds or simply moving out for spear time to earn for their families.
But what is interesting is that the village is far away from the Line of Control (LoC). “Our village faces the army range and is usually away from the border. There has not been any instance in which the Pakistani bombs would land in our village, this was the first such instance,” Yasmeen said. “People are really scared.”
In another incident, five soldiers were injured after the forces of both India and Pakistan exchanged brief shelling and firing in Mendhar area of Poonch district. The shelling started on Sunday morning in Balakote sector of Poonch, resulting in injuries to five soldiers.
The injured army men were identified as Lance Naik Gaurav Vishnak (34), rifleman Budha Rai (33), Naik Jitender Verma (23), Rahul Pandey (24) and Subedar Deshbandu (47), who were later airlifted to Udhampur for specialized treatment.