Ceasefire Violations by Pakistan Escalate, 12 People Injured
JAMMU: In escalating ceasefire violations that continued tonight, Pakistani troops targeted over 40 Border Out Posts and 25 border hamlets with heavy mortar shells in Jammu sector and LoC areas in Poonch district, leaving 12 people including a JCO injured.
Military officials of India and Pakistan discussed on the hotline the cross-border firing in Jammu and Kashmir but there was no signs of a solution.
Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire several times during the day and it continued tonight, security and civil officials said.
Officials of the Directorate General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries talked over hotline for five minutes during which both the sides accused each other of violating the ceasefire, Army sources said in Delhi.
Today's incidents came a day after five villagers were killed and 34 injured in one of the worst ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
Pakistan's night-long mortar-bomb attacks and rattle of heavy guns has sent thousands of residents in border villages scurrying for cover with fear writ large on their face. They fled their mud-houses on buses, tractor-trollies and bullock-carts to safer places in Jammu leaving behind deserted hamlets.
The three service chiefs met Defence Minister Arun Jaitley in Delhi and are understood to have discussed the prevailing security situation on the border.
Pakistani and Indian troops along the International Border(IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in J and K exchanged heavy fire tonight in which a Junior Commissioned Officer(JCO) and two other armymen were injured.
According to a senior Army official tonight, shelling carried out by Pakistan along the LoC in the Sabjian area of Poonch district left one JCO and two armymen injured. The injured have been hospitalised, the official added.
Fresh firing from the Pakistani side was also reported in Kathua district along the IB apart besides in Jammu and Rajouri districts, police and BSF sources said.
BSF and Army troops are retaliating to the firing, the sources said.
"There was fresh ceasefire violations by Pakistan at Banwat and Hamirpur along LoC in Poonch. The firing started at 1620 hours with Small Arms and Mortars", Defence Spokesman Lt Col Maneesh Mehta said earlier in the day.
"Own forces responded effectively and appropriately. No casualty till last report came in", he added. In another ceasefire violation earlier, Defence Spokesman Lt Col Maneesh Mehta said Pakistani troops opened fire with small arms in Balnoie forward belt along LoC in Poonch district around 1420 hours.
The Army retaliated effectively and the exchange of fire is going on in the area, he said, adding there was no loss of life or injury to anyone on the Army side.
In a ceasefire violation in the morning, Pakistan Rangers resorted to firing and mortar shelling in Arnia town morning, a police officer said.
A shell also exploded near the compound wall of a police station in Arnia, leaving six persons injured, he said.
"Pakistani Rangers had fired mortars and opened heavy fire on BSF posts along the International Border since 2100 hours last night", BSF Spokesman Vinood Yadav said.
"As many as 40 BSF BoPs were affected by the fire from Pakistan side", Yadav said, adding that firing and shelling was targeted on areas along IB in Arnia, R S Pura, Kanachak and Pargwal sub-sectors along IB in Jammu and Samba districts.
There has been heavy firing and mortar shelling on 20 to 25 border hamlets along the International Border in Arnia, R S Pura, Pargwal, Ganjansoo and Kanachak belts of Jammu district since last night, District Magistrate, Jammu, Ajeet Kumar Sahu told PTI.
Three persons have been injured in the firing in Jammu border areas and have been hospitalised, officials said.
In view of the firing, over 1,000 people were also shifted to camps overnight.