In an escalation at the border, 8 people, including two children and four women, were killed and 22 injured on Tuesday as Pakistani troops targeted civilian areas here, inviting strong retaliation by Indian forces who killed two Pakistani soldiers and destroyed their 14 posts.
The injured included a 18-month-old child.
The increased shelling and firing by Pakistan prompted the Jammu and Kashmir government to order the closure of all 400 schools along the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region.
With cross-border firing escalating, Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation at a meeting in Delhi which was attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and other top officials.
Deputy Commissioner of Samba district, Sheetal Nanda, told PTI that five people died and eight others were injured in Pakistani shelling in Ramgarh sector on Tuesday.
One person died due to shock during shelling in the same area, raising the toll of those killed in the area to six, she said.
The deceased have been identified as 19-year-old Ravinder Kour of Jerda village, 7-year-old Rishap, 5-year-old Abhi, 29-year-old Anju Devi, 60-year-old Meeru Ram of Rangoor village and 32-year-old Swaran Singh of Govindgarh.
The injured have been identified as 45-year-old Ashok Kumar, 30-year-old Rakesh Kumar, 13-year-old Muskaan, 50- year-old Kamli, one-and-a-half year-old Pari, 29-year-old Sushma of Rangoor Camp village and 28-year-old Kapil Dev and 15-year-old Anjna Verma of Nanga village.
Pari, along with Ashok Kumar, Rakesh Kumar, Muskaan, Kamli and Kapil Dev have been shifted to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu for treatment.
Along the LoC, two women Sultan Begum and Maqbool Begum were killed in firing and shelling by Pakistani troops in Panjgrian border hamlet in Manjakote belt of Rajouri district , Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Shabir Ahmed Bhat said.
He said that three people (army porters) suffered injuries in the shelling by Pakistani troops in Noushera sector of the district and they have been hospitalised.
At 7 am on Tuesday, three mortar shells landed in the border village of Pindi in Arnia sector of Jammu district and injured 4 people, he said.
Two women Robiya Kouser (28) and Tasveer Bi (24) were injured in Pakistani shelling in Mendhar sector of Poonch district last evening and have been hospitalised, police said.
Army sources said that two Pakistani soldiers were killed in retaliatory firing along LoC near the Naushera sector of Rajouri district.
Pareek said the BSF destroyed 14 posts of Pakistani Rangers in retaliatory action.
“BSF gave a calibrated retaliation on IB in response to unprovoked firing and shelling of Pakistan Rangers in area of Ramgarh and Arnia Sectors since morning,” the DIG said.
“Since morning, BSF targeted Pakistan Rangers’ posts across IB in the same sector and caused heavy damage to 14 Pakistani Posts,” he said.