RAWALPINDI/BHIMBER  -  A civilian was martyred as Indian forces resorted to unprovoked firing along the Line of Control Monday, the military’s media wing, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), said.

“In continuation of violation of the ceasefire accord, Indian Army resorted to unprovoked firing and targeted civilian population in Khanjar Sector of LoC,” the ISPR said.

A civilian, identified as Guftar Hussain, 51, a resident of village Jhamra, embraced martyrdom in unprovoked mortar shelling of Indian troops, the ISPR added. Pakistan Army retaliated effectively and engaged the enemy, the ISPR further said.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Bhimber Chaudhry Zulqarnain Sarfraz told a private TV channel that a man in Bhimber district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir died after being hit by a mortar shell fired by India from across the Line of Control.

“The shell landed in the courtyard of the house, leaving an elderly man Guftar Hussain dead on the spot,” the SSP said, adding other members of the house remained unhurt miraculously. According to the SSP, the firing was completely unprovoked ceasefire violation.

The latest ceasefire violation came months after both sides agreed to undertake sincere measures to improve the existing situation, ensuring peace and avoidance of hardships to the civilians along the borders. A special hotline between the director generals of Military Operations (DGMO) of Pakistan and India was established for the purpose.

However, SSP Sarfraz said there has not been any letup in the ceasefire violations along the LoC and the Working Boundary. “In fact, Indian troops have become habitual of intentionally hitting innocent and unarmed civilians along the dividing line in a bid to create panic among them.

In the last such incident, Indian troops fired a rocket in Nadheri village of Kotli district’s Goi Sector on September 3, leaving a man critically wounded. The victim succumbed to his wounds in a hospital in Rawalpindi on Sept 9.

According to Saeed Qureshi, a director at State Disaster Management Authority, as many as 25 people, seven of them women, have lost their lives to Indian shelling in the current year in different areas of AJK, while another 139, including 67 women, have sustained injuries.

The shelling also left at least 28 houses partially damaged and two houses and a shop completely damaged in 2018, he added.

Last week, Pakistan summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner after a civilian was martyred in unprovoked Indian firing along the LoC.

The Indian deputy high commissioner was summoned and the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian forces were condemned, a Foreign Office statement read.