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Home and defence minister take stock of situation across Indo-Pak border, J-K

Burhan_wani_kashmir Updated: Nov 02, 2016 00:39 IST
Jammu and Kashmir

A paramilitary soldier patrols near Jamia Mosque during curfew in Srinagar,on October 28, 2016.(Waseem Andrabi/HT Photo)

With cross-border firing escalating, home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday reviewed the situation along the India-Pak border where eight civilians were killed and 22 injured due to Pakistani shelling and two Pakistani soldiers killed after Indian forces retaliated.

The meeting, attended by defence minister Manohar Parrikar, national security advisor Ajit Doval, army chief general Dalbir Singh Suhag and other top officials, took stock of the situation along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

The top security brass briefed the union ministers of the steps taken to counter firing by Pakistani forces, official sources.

Since Tuesday morning, Pakistan troops resorted to heavy shelling of hamlets and military posts in Samba, Jammu, Poonch and Rajouri districts along the IB and the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Pakistani troops used heavy calibre weapons such as 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs, army said.

The Border Security Force, deployed along the IB, said it had so far destroyed 14 posts of Pakistani Rangers in retaliatory action in Ramgarh and Arnia sectors of Jammu frontier.

Army sources also said two Pakistani soldiers were killed in retaliatory firing along LoC opposite Naushera sector, in Rajouri district on Tuesday.

In the wake of heavy Pakistani shelling, the government ordered closure of all 174 government and private schools situated along the IB and LoC in Jammu.

There have been more than 60 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the LoC and IB in the state since surgical strikes against terror launch pads by the Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on September 27.

Singh also met Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra regarding the situation in the state.

Sources said during the 30-minute meeting, the issue of burning of schools in the Valley came up in the discussion. So far 26 schools have been burnt or damaged during the unrest in the Valley.

Sources said the centre’s primary focus is reopening of schools, colleges and markets in the Valley which remained shut for the past 110 days, following the killing militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

The home ministry also sent a communication to the Jammu and Kashmir government to make all efforts to check burning of schools and ensure they were re-opened.