Pak continues to pound border villages in overnight shelling

  • Vikram Sharma, Hindustan Times, Jammu
  • Updated: Jan 06, 2015 19:40 IST

Intermittent shelling overnight by Pakistan continued till Tuesday morning along the international border in Hiranagar and Samba sectors, officials said, adding thousands of villagers have fled home due to growing tension between the two countries since last week.

Officials said Pak forces started firing at around 4 am on Tuesday and continued till 11 am. However no loss of life or property was reported as alert Border Security Force (BSF) personnel put up a brave front to thwart the aggression.

Many 82mm mortar shells landed in Sherpur, Chakra, Lachipur and Londi areas of Hiranagar, located deep inside the Indian territory, they added.

The heavy pounding by Pakistan forced villagers in both Hiranagar and Samba sectors to flee, but many of them returned after firing stopped to take stock of the situation.

Nearly ten thousand people have migrated to safety after tension erupted along the international border since this year started, triggering outrage in the country.

According to government figures, 4800 people have migrated from Hiranagar of Kathua district while 5000 have left home in Samba.

Nearly 55 border villages are deserted as people have fled to save themselves and their cattle.

In view of the firing, the government has ordered closure of all educational institutions till further orders, and examinations have been postponed.

Meanwhile the BSF said Pakistani troops were not accepting protest notes from India over the ceasefire violations and that there was "no communication" between the two sides.

"Pakistan Rangers are not accepting protest notes over ceasefire violations. There is no communication between the two sides. We want to restore normalcy along the border but we are forced to retaliate because Pakistan Rangers resort to firing on us," Director General of BSF, D K Pathak said.

He said that the ceasefire violation by Pakistan could be an attempt to divert attention of its public from the Peshawar incident.

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