NEW DELHI: While Pakistan has denied violating the ceasefire or pounding on the Indian villages, details with Express show that Pakistani troops started the cowardly tactics of shelling civilian hamlets in Poonch around 6 pm on October 1.
The ceasefire was violated by 649 Mujahid Battalion of Pakistan, which used automatic weapons to fire indiscriminately at the Indian Posts across the Line of Control (LoC).
According to sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the first firing came from Pakistan’s Kopra Post across the LoC and intermittent firing with automatic weapons continued till 7 pm, perhaps to provide a cover to the militants for infiltrating into the Poonch sector.
After 7 pm, 649 Mujahid Battalion of Pakistan started firing with 82 mm mortar at Indian Posts manned by 3 Garhwal rifles of the Indian Army. However, the target was changed within an hour. After 8 pm, Pakistani troops started shelling Gagrian village injuring four villagers -- Zahoor Ahmad, Sakina, Ghulam Ahmed and Sherwan. According to sources, Zahoor was critically injured in the firing and referred to Jammu by the local doctors. Interestingly, Pakistan did not stop after the unprovoked firing at civilians. And the very next day, on October 2, Pakistan shifted the ceasefire violation towards Arnia and R S Pura sectors along the International Border.
MHA officials said Pakistan’s ceasefire violation was planned well in advance as the heavy shelling was moving from one post to another as if it were a well-coordinated operation to attack the Indian Posts and civilian hamlets. On October 2, Pakistani Post 1080 used heavy weaponry to target Indian hamlets. Zahida, 17, daughter of one Bashir, was killed in the Pakistan firing.
Simultaneously, Pakistani rangers had opened another front by attacking Arnia village, situated between two Border out posts (BoPs) of Border Security Force (BSF). The border guarding force was taken by surprise over Pakistan’s unprovoked firing at the Indian Posts and villages. “It appears Pakistani rangers had evacuated villagers across the border in the intervening night of October 1-2 to minimise their civilian damage in case India retaliates,” officials added.