SRINAGAR: There has been no let-up in the tension along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir with at least 14 people, including three security men sustaining injuries in the Pakistani troops’ heavy firing and shelling on Thursday.
“Pakistani troops again resorted to unprovoked firing along the international border in Samba, Hiranagar, Ramgarh, Arnia, RS Pura, Kanachak and Pargwal sub sectors in the Jammu province,” a BSF source said.
They said Pakistani troops fired from heavy weapons on at least 60 outposts and 80 villages along the international border since the midnight. “The intensity of the firing intensified in the morning and unprovoked firing continued till the afternoon,” he said.
Sources said Pakistani troops also fired long-range mortar shells, hitting the areas untouched by the shelling so far. “The Indian troops returned the fire effectively with weapons of similar calibre,” the source said.
Sources said 14 people, including three BSF men, were injured in the Pakistani firing in Kanachak, Samba and other places at the international border and had been hospitalised.
Pakistani troops have been violating the 2003 border ceasefire since October 1. At least eight people have been killed and 85 others, including some security men, injured in the Pakistani firing along the international border and the LoC in the Jammu province in the last nine days. October 6 witnessed the worst Pakistani shelling. At least five people were killed and 13 others injured in Pakistani firing in Arnia belt along the international border on the day.
Defence spokesman Lt Col Manish Mehta told Express that there was no Pakistani firing on the LoC. “There was calm and peace along the LoC and Pakistani troops didn’t resort to unprovoked firing in any sector,” he said. The Army looks after the security on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir while the BSF takes care of security on the international border.
In view of the continuous firing by Pakistani troops, sources said the Army and BSF men had been put on alert. The Army spokesman, however, said no additional army deployment had been made along the LoC.
Authorities have shifted at least 30,000 people to safer places along the international border and the LoC in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts in the Jammu province. The relief camps have been set up relief camps and people evacuated from areas close to the international border and the LoC are being accommodated in community halls, schools and other government buildings.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the state government would do whatever was possible to safeguard the lives of the people and their cattle.
“Instructions have been issued to the divisional authorities to take all measures for providing necessary succour to the firing- affected people. I have also given directions for establishing temporary camps for cattle and arranging fodder and medical facilities for them,” he said. Omar asked divisional officers to identify more places of temporary shelters for the population fleeing border areas.