Pakistan violated the ceasefire again on Saturday as its troops targeted Indian posts and villages with mortars and heavy machine guns in Pallanwala sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Akhnoor, triggering a fresh migration of over 12,000 villagers.
“Around 3:30am Pakistan troops opened small arms fire and then switched to heavy machine gun fire. Subsequently, around 4.30am they started firing 82 mm mortars at Darkote, Platan and Channi Dewanu villages,” a police officer at Khour police station said.
The guns eventually fell silent around 7.30am. The Indian Army responded in equal measure, he said.
No loss of life was reported in the Pakistani shelling as most of the villages along the Line of Control (LoC) were evacuated in the past 48 hours after the Indian Army conducted a surgical strike on militant launchpads across the de-facto border in Poonch sector on September 29.
This is the fifth violation of the 2004 ceasefire by Pakistani troops along LoC in J-K in the past four days.
The ceasefire violation came on a day of army chief General Dalbir Singh’s visit to the Northern Command in Udhampur to take stock of India’s preparedness along the border in the wake of heightened tension in India-Pakistan ties following the surgical strike.
The strike, seen as a reprisal for Uri terror attack, was planned and executed by the Northern Command.
The police officer at Khour said 7,500 people from Darkote and Channi Dewanu villages and 2,890 from Platan village left for their relatives’ houses in safer areas in Akhnoor.
“At least 490 families from these three villages comprising 1,882 members have taken refuge at the Government Higher Secondary School in Khour,” he added.
Jammu deputy commissioner, Simrandeep Singh, also confirmed the firing in Pallanwala, some 70 km northwest of state’s winter capital.
Pakistan has stepped up cross-border firing after the Indian Army’s attack.
On Friday, Pakistani troops resorted to small arms firing along the LoC in Pallanwala, Chapriyal, Samwan areas of Akhnoor sector of Jammu district during the night.