SRINAGAR: An Army man and a minor girl were killed and three others including a woman and a jawan injured in Pakistani troops firing and mortar shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.
Defence spokesman in Jammu, Lt Colonel Manish Mehta said Pakistani troops breached border ceasefire and resorted to unprovoked firing and mortar shelling on army positions and civilian areas along LoC in Balakote sector in Poonch and Manjkote sector in Rajouri district at around 7.30 am.
He said army men effectively retaliated.
“A mortar shell fired by Pakistani troops in Balakote sector in Poonch landed on an army bunker. Army man identified as Naik Mudasir Ahmed manning the bunker sustained critical injuries. He was evacuated to military hospital, where he succumbed to injuries,” the spokesman said.
Mudasir, 37, hailed from Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. He is survived by wife and two children.
Police sources said another soldier identified as Naik Firdous Ahmad of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district was also injured in the incident.
He has been hospitalized, they said.
Deputy Commissioner, Poonch, Tariq Ahmad Zargar told New Indian Express that a 9-year-old girl was also killed in Pakistani troops firing in Balakote sector.
The deceased girl was identified as Sajida.
The DC said they have prepared any evacuation plan for people living near the LoC. “However, the border people are not willing to relocate as they have got their farms and livelihood in the area.”
Pakistani troops also resorted to heavy firing and shelling in Manjakote sector in Rajouri, Deputy Commissioner Rajouri, Shahid Choudhry said.
He said two people including a woman identified as Shah Bi were injured in the Pakistani troops shelling.
The injured were hospitalized, he said.
About 5000 people in villages of Panjgrain, Rajdhani and Naika in Manjakote sector in Rajouri were affected by the Pakistani troops firing and shelling.
At least 16 educational institutions in the border areas in Manjakote sector were closed after cross-LoC shelling.
The Pakistani firing and shelling stopped at around 3 pm.
An official said administration has advised border area residents to stay indoors during cross-LoC firing and shelling.
He said three schools, a panchayat ghar and other locations have been notified as camps for likely evacuation of border people in case of emergency situation.
An army official in Srinagar said Pakistani troops also breached border ceasefire in Uri sector of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district late this afternoon.
He said the Pakistani troops fired from automatic weapons and resorted to mortar shelling on army positions and civilian areas in Kamakote area of Uri sector.
The army men were also effectively returning the fire, the official said adding a soldier was injured in cross-LoC firing.
India-Pak border guards hold flag meeting
On Pakistan Ranger's request , a Commandant-Wing Cdr level flag meeting was held between BSF and Pakistan Rangers on International Boundary in Samba area of Jammu province today, a BSF spokesman said.
He said during the one-hour long meeting, commanders of both border guards discussed various issues including recent unprovoked firing in Samba sector and other routine issues related to border management.
“It was decided to re-energize instant communication between field commanders, whenever required, to resolve the petty matters,” the spokesman said adding both sides agreed for expeditious implementation of the decisions taken in the earlier meeting and committed to each other to maintain peace and tranquility at International Border.