Indian troops retaliate as Pakistan violates ceasefire in Poonch
Pakistan resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling on Indian posts and border villages along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Monday.
“Pakistan has opened unprovoked fire and shelling on forward posts in Balakote sector of Mendhar in Poonch and the Indian Army is responding to them,” a defence source said.
The latest ceasefire violation in Balakote sector came after a 48-hour lull. In the last one month, at least 45 instances of ceasefire violations have taken place along the border.
“Dharati, Sohala, Basooni and Panjini villages are being targeted by the Pakistani army,” a local from Mendhar said.
On Friday, a woman died in Pakistani shelling in the area on Friday.
On Sunday night, Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing in Jammu’s RS Pura sector as well as Suchetgarh and Korotana villages causing panic among the villagers. There were no reports of casualty or damage on the Indian side.
Border Security Force (BSF) deputy inspector general (Jammu Frontier) Dharmender Pareekh said that Pakistani troops started firing with automatic weapons at two places in RS Pura sector and fired mortar shells in Suchetgarh area at around 8pm on Sunday.
“But after 9pm there was no firing except at one place in Hirangar sub-sector of Kathua district before 8pm last evening,” he added.
A local said that Pakistan also shot mortars in Floora village of RS Pura sector.
The de-facto border with Pakistan has remained tense since a militant attack on an army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir in September left 19 soldiers dead. India retaliated by carrying out “surgical strikes” across the LoC and destroyed several militant launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
India has accused Pakistan of supporting terrorists who carried out the Uri attack and unprovoked ceasefire violations along the International Border (IB) and the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir in recent months.
On Saturday, the army said it destroyed four Pakistani posts in a “massive” assault across the LoC in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, a day after an Indian soldier’s body was mutilated by militants.
Nearly half a dozen people and four BSF soldiers have been killed so far and over 30 others injured in the recent skirmishes along the international border.