US Media again reports on Kashmir referring the state as Indian controlled Kashmir. CNN states that if it wasn’t for the military installations that dot the mountain passes, the infinite coils of barbed wire or the armed soldiers around every corner, this small border town in Indian controlled Kashmir might be confused for a peaceful mountain paradise.
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CNN writes: The tremor and the terror in Mohammad Riyad’s voice as he recalls what happened in the middle of the night in late February betrays the true reality of the situation. Riyad lives in a small village just beyond the town of Uri, in the shadow of the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border that divides this disputed region between India and Pakistan. It is one of the world’s most militarized frontiers, the site of frequent armed confrontations between India and Pakistan.
Violence here is always just a hair trigger away. Shelling across the frontier is common. According to official figures tabled in the Indian parliament in March last year, cross border firing incidents along the LoC have risen dramatically in recent years, from 152 in 2015 to 860 in 2017. Riyad and numerous other local residents say the situation has worsened in recent weeks.
Mohammad Riyad shows the scars he received after shrapnel split open his abdomen. “I was asleep when a shell landed right outside my window,” he says, his voice cracking as he lifts up his shirt to reveal what happened next: Shrapnel rained down on his bed, splitting open his abdomen.
Emergency surgery in Srinagar, the main city in Indian controlled Kashmir, saved his life. A blackish ladder of stitches runs up and across his stomach. Thankfully, he says, his wife and children were sleeping away from the window and escaped without any injuries. The family remains fearful of further attacks. “It could happen again tonight.”
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The town of Uri in Indian controlled Kashmir, close to the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border that divides this disputed region between India and Pakistan. Locals here say – the two sides continue to fire artillery shells across the LoC, each side blaming the other for the violence.
In a recent interview with the local Economics Times daily, Amit Shah, President of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and his closest political aide, said: “Until now, there were only two countries which took revenge for the martyrdom of their soldiers — the US and Israel. Because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is now the third country to do so.” In case there was any doubt about whether the BJP wanted to make national security an election issue, Shah added: “National elections have to be fought on who can ensure better national security.”
Modi has also referred to the border tensions. “Enough is enough,” he said at a public event in March, referring to the February attack, and an earlier 2016 attack on a military installation in Uri, according to the Indian news agency PTI. “We cannot keep suffering till eternity.”
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