Poonch shelling kills 5 civilians: India summons Pakistan deputy high commissioner, lodges strong protest

New Delhi: Reacting strongly, India termed as "highly deplorable" the killing of five civilians by Pakistani forces in "unprovoked firing" and summoned the Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner to lodge a protest over the issue.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah, who was called to the South Block in New Delhi, was also told that such heinous acts are against established humanitarian norms and professional military conduct and asked Pakistan to instruct its forces to desist from such acts immediately, the external affairs ministry said.

"It was conveyed that the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, who are located two kilometres away from the forward line of defences, by Pakistan forces using high calibre weapons, is highly deplorable and is condemned in the strongest terms," the ministry said.

The strong protest was lodged at the loss of lives of five innocent Indian civilians (a couple and their three children) and grievous injuries to two other minor children in unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan forces on 18 March in Bhimber Gali Sector across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, the ministry added.

India also asked Pakistani authorities to investigate such heinous acts, the ministry said.

"Our strong concerns were shared at continued unprovoked firing and ceasefire violations across the LoC and the International Border. More than 560 such violations have been carried out by Pakistan forces at the LoC so far during 2018 in which 23 Indian civilians have been killed and 70 others have been injured," the ministry said.

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

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Updated Date: Mar 19, 2018 21:03:50 IST

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