Indian Army officer, three soldiers killed in firing by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri
A major and three soldiers were killed on Saturday and another was injured in what the army described as unprovoked firing on Indian posts along the Line of Control in Keri sector of Jammu’s Rajouri district.
Defence spokesperson colonel NN Joshi described the firing as a ceasefire violation by the neighbouring country.
He identified the victims as Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, lance naiks Gurmail Singh and Kuldeep Singh and sepoy Pargat Singh.
India and Pakistan frequently accuse each other of violating a 2003 truce along the de-facto border between the countries, one of the most volatile military zones in the world.
Earlier this week, junior home minister Hansraj Ahir informed the Lok Sabha that 881 ceasefire violations took place along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir this year, killing at least 30 people including soldiers.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, on a visit to Rajouri, condoled the death of the four army men.
Officials said Maj Ambadas, 32, was from Bhandara district of Maharashtra and is survived by his wife Avoli.
Lance naik Gurmail Singh (34) is from Amritsar in Punjab and is survived by his wife Kuljit Kaur and a daughter while sepoy Pargat Singh, (30) hailed from Karnal in Haryana. He is survived by his wife Ramanpreet Kaur and a son.
Kuldeep Singh, 30, who died in hospital, was from Bhatinda in Punjab and is survived by his wife and two children.
The army said it “retaliated strongly and effectively” on Pakistan army posts.
Intelligence sources said the cross-border firing was preceded by an IED blast and militants firing on an Indian patrol.
“The incident took place in the Topa Barat Galla area of in Keri sector. It happened around 12.15 pm,” a source said. The army, however, denied any IED blast.