Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde expressed concern over the “increased infiltration” in Jammu and Kashmir. PTI Photo
A BSF head constable was killed and seven security personnel were injured as Pakistani troops opened fire and heavily shelled over 50 border outposts along the International Border on Tuesday night.
While nearly 200 smaller violations of the 2003 ceasefire agreement have been reported this year, the latest skirmish is being termed the most serious in a decade. These are the highest number of ceasefire violations in the last eight years.
The heavy shelling come close on the heels of home minister Sushilkumar Shinde's visit to areas long the IB on Tuesday to review the security situation arising out of ceasefire violations since October 14, in which two jawans have been killed and 18 people injured.
At least 100 civilians were being moved from homes in the villages of Arnia and Ramgarh near the frontier, a police official said.
A BSF officer said Pakistani Rangers opened fire with automatic weapons and attacked over 50 border posts along IB in Jammu frontier belt with mortar shells since last night.
Pakistani rangers also rained mortars in forward villages of Arnia, R S Pura and Akhnoor sectors from 7.40pm, the officer said.
BSF troops guarding the border line retaliated resulting in fierce exchanges of shelling and firing, which continued till this morning. The injured were hospitalised.
In the exchange of fire, Mukesh Lal Meena -- a head constable of BSF posted in Chinaj forward post -- was killed and seven BSF personnel, including two officers, were injured.
Meena belongs to village Nipajipura of Mohacha in Swaimadhopur district of Rajasthan. His body is being sent to his native place.
Those injured have been identified as inspector Rampal, sub-inspector Surender Singh, constables Pradeep Singh, Ashok Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Srinivas Naik and Sandip Kumar.
BSF gave a befitting reply at all the places but the damage on the Pakistan side is yet to be ascertained, the officer said.
A defence spokesman said the Pakistani troops shelled seven Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Hamirpur and Bhimber Gali sub-sectors from 9.30pm to 9.45pm and Mandi belt of Poonch district from 12.30 am to 1am.
Indian troops guarding the border retaliated, he said, adding there was no casualty or injury to anyone in the firing and shelling.