JAMMU: Pakistani troops today violated ceasefire after over a month-long lull and resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling in three sub-sectors along Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, drawing retaliation from Indian forces.
"Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing and mortar shelling in three forward areas along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir today," a senior Army officer told PTI.
While Pakistani troops resorted to heavy firing and shelling of 81 mm mortar bombs in two forward sub-sector of Sabjian and Mandi along LoC in Poonch district since 1840 hours, it also resorted to firing in a forward belt in Kashmir valley, he said. "It was unprovoked firing and ceasefire violation by Pakistan," he said.
There was reported firing from small arms, automatic weapons besides mortar shelling.
According to a defence spokesman, Pakistani troops resorted to firing on foward areas along Sabjian belt of Poonch district around 1840 hours.
"Due to the provocation the Indian troops appropriately responded," the spokesman said, adding that firing exchanges were going on intermittently since then.
These fresh violations came after a gap of one month and four days along Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan Rangers had resorted to unprovoked firing by automatic machine guns on the intervening night of August 26 and 27 on Indian BOPs located in Pragwal area of Akhnoor tehsil of Jammu.
In a bid to defuse border tension triggered by 45 days of firing and shelling by Pakistani troops, the longest since 1971 war, India and Pakistan on August 29 held a crucial Sector Commander (DIG-Brigadier) level flag meeting on Octerio BoP in R S Pura sector to decide to maintain peace and tranquility by silencing guns.
On August 28, BSF troops held a commandant level flag-meeting with Rangers along International Border (IB) at Ballard Post in Samba sector of Jammu and Kashmir impressing upon each other to respect ceasefire.
On August 27, India and Pakistan held a commandant level flag meeting at Nikowal Border outpost (BoP) along the International Border (IB) in Pargwal sub-sector of Akhnoor sector in Jammu district from 1600 hours to 1645 hours.
According to BSF, firing by Pakistani forces along International Border (IB) in the past 45 days was possibly the "heaviest" since the 1971 war.
There have been 95 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control and it has also breached the ceasefire pact 25 times on the International Border in recent months.
India had strongly lodged protest with Pakistani Rangers at DGMO level hotline contact on August 26.
Pakistan violated ceasefire pact at least 34 times in the 45 days since July 17.