Death Toll rises to 8, more than 70 injured

RSTV Bureau

kashmir_firingTwo women of a family were killed on Wednesday and 15 others injured in heavy mortar shelling and firing by Pakistani troops along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir, taking the death toll to eight in the continued ceasefire violations by Pakistan for over a week.

Pakistani Rangers targeted 50 Border Outposts (BoPs) and 35 hamlets overnight along the 192-km boundary. The escalation has triggered an exodus, with 16,000 people moving to safer areas from border villages.

70 people have been injured in the ceasefire violations by Pakistan, including 15 on Wednesday.

Pakistani Rangers target Chillary village along the International Border in Samba district around 0730 hours today. In the mortar shelling, Shukuntla Devi and her daughter-in-law Poli Devi were killed while their husbands along with two children of Poli were injured, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Samba, Anil Mangotra told.

All the inhabitants of village with a population of 1,700 fled from border hamlet to safety.

Along the Line of Control (LoC), the firing stopped last night in Mendhar & Poonch sectors after Indian forces gave a befitting reply, defence officials said.

Among the 15 injured today, three were BSF jawans. All of them have been shifted to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital, the SSP said.

Jorda Farm border hamlet was hit by shelling at 0900 hrs, police officials said. Six persons were injured when they were returning after night stay in shelter camp in R S Pura. They were shifted to GMC hospital for treatment, they said.

Giving further details, the BSF spokesman said almost all the BSF posts in Samba, Hiranagar belt of Kathua district were targeted by Pak Rangers. The firing in some areas of Arnia was still going on this morning.

“BSF troops at all the places gave a strong and befitting reply to fire from Pak,” he said.

There has been heavy firing and mortar shelling on over 25 to 27 border hamlets in forward areas of Jammu district since last night, District Magistrate Jammu Ajeet Kumar Sahu told.

Over 15,000 people have migrated from border hamlets along the International Border in Jammu to safer places due to the firing and shelling, the DM said, adding that relief camps have been set up for them.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also directed the administration to take all requisite measures for ensuring safety of life of the people in areas hit by shelling from across the border.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh today also visited border areas which have come under heavy mortar shelling and firing by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.