‘J&K government must construct under-ground bunkers for us, LoC shelling has yielded nothing so far, Both neighbours should sit and sort out issues’

Tasaduq Hussain 

Kupwara, Apr 13 (KNO): The twin villages, Timuna and Reddi of Chowkibal area in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district have witnessed an extreme level of devastation triggered by the mortar shells fired from across the Line of Control on Sunday that also left three civilians and a minor dead.

Charred cattle including sheep and cows lie scattered amid the debris of residential houses in Timuna and Reddi villages where shells rained on residential houses on Sunday afternoon. The residents, who are in a deep shock as they haven’t witnessed such an intense shelling so far, say “for a moment, they thought its end.”

 Talking exclusively to Wire Service Kashmir—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the locals of Timuna and Reddi while recalling the gory moments say they have been left homeless and helpless as theyhave lost both homes and livestock too.

The locals said over the year’s loss suffered during cross border shelling is something that one can’t even imagine of. “But on Sunday, we thought its end,” said a family member, whose house got damaged in shelling. “We couldn’t see a mother carrying her eight year old dead son in her lap. Killings can’t be justified. We have got sandwiched in the hatred of India and Pakistan,” he said.

He said that since Sunday afternoon, majority of people in these twin villages spent night under open sky fearing that firing may again resume. “Many of us slept without food,” another resident of Reddi village told KNO.

Firdous Ahmad, ward member of the concerned area said the slain woman, Shameema Begum has left behind four small kids with no one other than a labourer father to look after these kids.

“If there is anything unresolved between the two countries they should hold a dialogue and resolve the issue once for all and not to leave the innocents to fall prey to the aggression of two armies,” he said and appealed to the prime ministers of India and Pakistan. He said “either people of Kupwara should be allowed to live in peace forever, or they should be killed in one go.”

Irshad Ahmad Kataria, a local from Timuna village said that some of the shells landed in the civilian population causing immense damage to property which claimed life of a minor kid. “The kid’s father has also suffered critical injuries in one of his hands. Almost three residential houses including a cow and ox were also charred to death,” said Kataria. “This should now end as we are suffering each single day.”

Nazir Ahmad Shah, another local said the intense shelling has mounted the fear within local population of Kupwara with people running for safer places like never before to save their loved ones.

“Last afternoon we felt like the end has arrived and people here were engulfed by immense fear with number of people assembling at same place amid the coronavirus pandemic when the authorities have advised to maintain social distance,” Shah told KNO. He said that the sufferings of people should end once for all. “Either we all should be bombarded once or else we should be allowed to live in peace,” he said.

Shah’s house has suffered a complete damage in the LoC shelling. “This shelling has been going once since past 30 years but hasn’t yielded anything so far except for the fact civilian population has always bearing the brunt by losing life and property,” he said. “On Sunday, a mortal shell landed in the premises of my house. The belongings in my lawns were up in flames. I have never seen this thing before even though I am witness to number of exchange of fire between the armies of India and Pakistan in Kupwara district.”

The residents of twin village’s—Timuna and Reddi in Chowkibal appealed the Government of India and the authorities of union territory of Jammu and Kashmir to provide them adequate quantity of safety gears, like under-ground bunkers  so that they can take refuge in bunkers when there is intense LoC shelling—(KNO)

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