5 killed, 26 injured in heavy shelling by Pakistani troops

RSTV Bureau
File Photo

File Photo

In one of the worst ceasefire violations by Pakistan, five villagers were killed and 29 injured on Monday in heavy mortar shelling and firing from across the international border and Line of Control in Jammu and Poonch sectors.

Pakistani troops indulged in heavy and unprovoked firing and shelling of mortars on 10 border outposts (BoPs) and civilian areas along international border in Arnia belt of Jammu district from 10 PM spilling over to this morning, a BSF spokesman said.

BSF troops retaliated effectively and gave a befitting reply, he said, adding that the intermittent firing exchanges were on in the area when reports last came in.

In the shelling, five villagers were killed and 29 injured in several hamlets, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), R S Pura Tehsil, Devender Singh told.

The Pakistani troops also resorted to mortar shelling and firing on forward posts along LoC in Bhimber Gali belt of Poonch district since 0830 hours today, a Defence Spokesman said.

After the fresh escalation, India asserted that Pakistan must put an immediate end to ceasefire violations.

25 of the injured have been shifted to GMC hospital Jammu.

On October 3, Pakistani troops and rangers violated ceasefire in Gulmarg sector of Kashmir Valley and in Poonch and Jammu sectors in which a girl was killed and six persons were injured.

There have been a dozen ceasefire violations along Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir during last four days.

Fear was writ large on the faces of kin of the injured, who were shifted to the hospital here. “We thought we will die any time, such was the firing of mortar bombs and their bursting sound,” Karan Singh of Pindi village said.

“We have become sitting ducks for Pakistan to target us. Government should do something immediately. We cannot live on the border to die,” Rano Devi said.

Congress and BJP said the ceasefire violations by Pakistan were a “serious” issue and it should desist from such activities.

“Whatever Pakistan is doing is certainly a serious matter. And we want to tell Pakistan that indulging in such activities is not good for that country,” BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

Congress Party leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, however, asked why Modi government is “keeping silent”.

“It’s most unfortunate that firing is going on from Pakistan side in Jammu and Kashmir and at this juncture any firing from across the border is very very critical. It’s most unfortunate that the Government is also keeping silent,” he said.

Yesterday, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire by resorting to unprovoked and heavy firing on Indian forward posts along LoC in Balnoie sub-sector of Poonch district.

On October 4, Pakistani troops resorted to firing and mortar shelling along LoC in in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, drawing retaliation from Army.

On October 1 and 2, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire two times along LoC in Poonch district resulting in injuries to six people, including three women.

With assembly elections due in Jammu and Kashmir, the Pakistan-based militant leadership is desperate to push in a large number of militants into the Indian side in the cover of the heavy firing to carry out terrorism related activities, according to the Army.