A civilian was killed and four others, including a BSF jawan, were injured when the Pakistan Army targeted forward areas along the Line of Control in Rajouri and Pooch districts of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting retaliation by the Indian troops.
Five Pakistan soldiers were reported to have been killed while some others were injured in the Indian Army’s retaliatory action along the Nowshera and Krishnagati sectors.
The civilian who got killed in the Pakistani offensive was working as a labourer with the General Engineering Reserve Force (GREF). Pakistani troops targeted Indian posts in four sectors with mortar bombs and firing with automatic weapons.
Entire top brass of Indian Army headed by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and the seven commanders, including all corps commanders of J-K, held a meeting in Srinagar today to review the situation.
“One civil GREF labour was martyred, and one GREF driver injured in ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops. One head constable of BSF suffered splinter injuries in Krishnagati sector. He is out of danger,” Defence Spokesman Lt Col Manish Mehta said.
As per some reports, two more people associated with the GREF were injured.
“Pakistan Army resorted to mortar shelling and firing on forward posts along the LoC in Nowshera sector in Rajouri district from 0730 hours today and in Krishnagati sector of Poonch district from 0740 hours today,” he said.
The reports said there has been firing along the LoC in Balnoi and Mankote sectors too.
“The Indian Army posts are retaliating strongly and effectively and firing is presently on,” he said.
The spokesman added that firing exchange was on Pakistan Army resorted to indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatic weapons and 82 mm and 120 mm mortars in these sectors.
The firing and shelling stopped at 0900 hours in Nowshera sector and at 1300 hours in KG sector, he said.
As per the sources a mortar shell hit a vehicle of the GREF in KG sector during shelling which resulted in the death of one GREF labourer and injuries to the others and a BSF jawan was injured in a separate firing incident.
On the reports of killing of five Pakistani soldiers in retaliation by Indian army, the Defence spokesman said he had no such input.
A top Army officer also said he had no such inputs.
On May 17, the Pakistan Army had resorted to firing on forward posts along the LoC in Balakote sector in Rajouri.
The Pakistan Army also continued shelling on the intervening night of May 15 and 16 on forward areas and civilian belts along the LoC in three belts of Rajouri.
The firing and shelling by the Pakistan Army in May this year has affected over 12,000 people. It had on May 13 pounded civilian areas and forward posts along the LoC in Nowshera area with mortars, killing two civilians and injuring three.
On May 15, the Pakistani troops resorted to fresh ceasefire violation along the LoC in Nowshera sector since 1600 hours till late night. Four villages in Nowshera have come under small arms fire from across the LOC in Nowshera.
On May 14, the Pakistani Army resorted to indiscriminate firing of small arms, 82 mm and 120 mm mortars from 0645 hours along the LoC in Nowshera and Manjakote sectors of Rajouri.
On May 13, authorities ordered closure of 51 schools in Nowshera sector and also Manjakote and Doongi zones. Two people were killed and three injured in Pakistani shelling in Nowshera sector on May 13.
On May 12, the Pakistan Rangers resorted to ceasefire violation and fired on BSF men and posts along International Border (IB) in Arnia sector of Jammu district in which one BSF man was injured.
On May 11 and 10, the Pakistan Army resorted to heavy shelling and firing in Nowshera belt killing one woman and injuring two people including her husband.
More than 2,694 families comprising 10,042 persons have been affected in shelling which lead to killing of three persons, injuries to six in Pakistani shelling on May 11, 13 and 14, Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said.
Besides, 65 livestock were killed and standing crops got damaged, while nearly 45 houses suffered partial to complete damages during the period, the officer said.
The district administration provided immediate relief of Rs 1 lakh each to the next of kin of the dead and financial assistance to the injured.
Overall, of the 64 villages along the LoC in Rajouri, 23 were located in Nowshera sub-division where eight villages were badly affected and remaining 15 villages sustained minor losses, while five villages in Doongi and nine villages in Manjakote have been affected, he added.
At least one incident of ceasefire violation by Pakistan took place daily along the LoC in J-K in 2015 and 2016 in which 23 security personnel lost their lives.
As many as 1,142 terror incidents were reported in the state between 2012 and 2016 in which 236 security personnel and 90 civilians were killed.
Pakistan breached the truce along the Line of Control 449 times in 2016 as compared to 405 violations in 2015. 23 security personnel were killed in the two-year period.