SRINAGAR: A day before Union Minister for Defence Arun Jaitley’s Jammu and Kashmir visit, Pakistan army on Friday violated ceasefire and fired mortar shells on Indian positions along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district.
“Pakistan troops violated border ceasefire this (Friday) morning by firing on Indian posts along the LoC in Mendhar-BhimberGali-Keri forward areas of the Poonch district,” Army spokesman in Jammu, Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta told Express.
He said the Pakistani troops also fired mortar shells on the Indian posts. “Indian troops manning the forward posts returned the fire effectively.”
Mehta said the firing started around 7.30 am and continued for 30 minutes.
“No injury or damage to property was caused on this side of the LoC due to the firing,” he said.
The Pakistani troops’ unprovoked firing on the Indian posts took place a day after two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) went off near the LoC at Tarkundi forward post in Poonch sector on Thursday when Army men were patrolling the area. A soldier was killed and seven others, including a Major, were injured in the explosions.
Asked whether the IEDs were planted by militants or by Border Action Team (BAT) of the Pakistan army, the Army spokesman said, “Investigation is on to ascertain the facts.”
“Till investigation is over, nothing can be said,” Mehta said.
Reacting to ceasefire violation by the Pakistani troops, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said there has been significant ceasefire violation in Rajouri and Poonch with reports of some shells having landed in civilian areas. Some livestock has also been lost.
“Is it just a coincidence that Defence Minister Arun Jaitley is visiting J&K, for his first visit to review the security situation tomorrow,” he said.
Jaitley will be arriving here on a two-day visit to Kashmir on Saturday. It will be his first visit to the state as the Defence Minister, from where the BJP won three Lok Sabha seats.
During his stay in the Valley, he will meet the Chief Minister, Governor, Army commanders, police and civil officers and take stock of the situation.
Army sources said Jaitley may also visit forward posts in Kashmir to review the preparedness of troops there.