SRINAGAR: A journalist was injured when a mortar shell landed close to him as Pakistani forces continued to breach the border ceasefire on Wednesday, firing from automatic weapons and resorting to mortar shelling on Army posts and civilians areas along the Line of Control in Rajouri, Poonch and Kupwara districts .
The defence spokesman in Jammu, Lt Col Manish Mehta, told Express that Army men effectively returned the fire in all instances. “The exchange of fire and mortar shelling were going on when reports last came in,” he said.
TV reporter Shakti Sharma was reporting from Kalsian village in the Naushera sector of Rajouri district when the shell fell near him. As he tried to move away, he fell into a small gorge. He was taken to local hospital, where doctors said his condition is stable.
Meanwhile, militants threw grenades at the house of PDP MLA Mohammad Yousuf Bhat at Memander in Shopian district while life in the Valley remained crippled for 88th consecutive day on Wednesday and separatists extended their shutdown up to September 13. The MLA and his family were not present in the house as they had shifted to Srinagar after the outbreak of the unrest. This is the second attack on the MLA’s house in two months. A mob had set on fire the room of policemen guarding the house on August 7.
And Opposition leader Omar Abdullah slammed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for talking in Delhi about tourism when the Valley is hit by an unrest. “Mehbooba has arrested over 8,000 youngsters, including more than 700 under the dreaded Public Safety Act, and wants to sell Kashmir as a peaceful place,” he said. “It’s ridiculous that kids in Valley haven’t seen the inside of a school for three months and the CM wants tourists to forget the turmoil and come visiting Kashmir”.
Meanwhile, independent MLA Er Sheikh Abdur Rasheed said the Army’s claims of conducting surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir needed to be understood in the light of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh election. He also alleged that the arrest of Pakistani infiltrator Bahadur Ali was also a “staged drama”.