Pakistan resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing on several BSF posts along the India-Pakistan border in Hiranagar and Samba sectors of Kathua and Jammu districts at around 10pm Friday night, drawing a strong retaliation from India that killed three Pakistan Rangers.
Meanwhile, J-K police confirmed four civilians were injured in firing and shelling by Pakistani troops along the border in Kathua and Samba.
BSF sources said Pakistan tried to push in a group of infiltrators, at about midnight, who were fired at by the BSF. Administration has put in place a plan to shift residents to a safer place if tension escalates further. About 20 BSF posts were targetted.
Firing started again at around 6am Saturday morning and continued for about two hours. According to reports, six personnel of the Pakistan Rangers have been killed in the exchange of fire since Thursday, with two casualties post 9:30pm. BSF sources said about three infiltration attempts were made.
Border Security Force (BSF) director general DK Pathak, who briefed home minister Rajnath Singh about the situation at 10pm, said the force had thwarted a "major infiltration attempt" from across the border and his troops were on high alert.
"We have foiled a major infiltration bid that was being carried out from across the Chorgali border outpost under the cover of heavy ceasefire violation firing."
The late-night ceasefire violation was the fourth by the Rangers in as many days and the eighth in the last nine days.
Home minister Singh reportedly ordered the BSF to respond with "appropriate" action after firing started Friday. Singh also said the firing was unprovoked.
A senior police officer in Jammu told PTI that "Pakistani Rangers resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling along International Border in Samba and Hiranagar sectors of J-K since 21:35 hours tonight (Friday)."
The firing and mortar shelling by Pakistani Rangers came from Razab Sheed, Asif Sheed, Chak Bhura, New Pak and Dhandhar posts, according to reports.
Police used speakers and announced that people should stay indoors. Border residents were also advised to keep lights off. Evacuation will be initiated early Saturday morning in areas where required.
Ambulances and doctors were deployed at Hiranagar for responding to emergencies and three buildings were made operational as relief camps keeping in view the volatile situation prevailing in the area.
The deputy commissioner of Kathua, along with senior officers of the administration, was camping in Hiranagar for monitoring the situation and coordinating relief and rescue operations.
The attack came on a day the home minister said there was no doubt that Pakistan was trying to push militants into J-K and trying to cover up such attempts by continuous firing along the border.
"No doubt about that," Singh told reporters in Delhi.
Amid the ceasefire violations, defence minister Manohar Parrikar had said Thursday that Islamabad did not seem to learn any lesson, and India's response to firing from across the border had been "more than double the capacity."
Pakistan Rangers targeted at least 12 border outposts in Samba sector Thursday, a day after four from the force were killed in a sharp counter-attack following the death of an Indian jawan in cross-border firing.