Hundreds of schools shut after deadly shelling
HUNDREDS of schools were ordered to close indefinitely in Kashmir yesterday after a flare-up in violence between Indian and Pakistani security forces in the disputed region left 14 civilians dead.
Authorities on the Indian-administered side said nearly 300 schools had been ordered to shut from yesterday morning following the death of eight civilians in mortar shelling along the highly militarised border in the Jammu region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Nearly 300 schools, both private and government-run have been asked to close in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts,” said Pawan Kotwal, a top official in the civilian adminstration in Jammu.
He said the border remained relatively calm overnight with only few incidents of cross-border firing reported in some areas.
Eight civilians, including two children, were killed on November 1 when mortar shells hit two locations in Samba and Rajouri sectors.
On October 31, Pakistani authorities said six civilians, including an 18-month-old girl, had been killed on its side of the border in firing by Indian security forces.
Islamabad summoned a senior Indian diplomat to protest over the killings.
India and Pakistan’s armies have regularly exchanged fire across the Line of Control – the de facto border in Kashmir – as well as along the undisputed part of their border since a militant attack on an Indian army base on September 18 left 19 soldiers dead. –