J-K: Army reservist, wife killed in Pakistan shelling in Poonch

india Updated: Jul 09, 2017 15:36 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times
Ceasefire violation,Line of Control,India

Indian Army jawans patrolling at the Line of Control (LOC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.(PTI File Photo)

An on-leave soldier of the Territorial Army and his wife were killed while their two children were injured in Pakistani shelling on the Line of Control (LoC) in the Gulpur sector of Poonch district early Saturday morning.

The family was sleeping when a 120 mm mortar shell landed in their house at Karmara village and exploded, an intelligence official said.

The victims were identified as Mohammed Shaukat (40), who was posted as a havildar in Palma area of Rajouri district with the Territorial Army’s 156 TA (Punjab) battalion, and his wife Safia Bi (35). Their minor daughters Rubina Kausar and Zahid Kausar, who suffered splinter injuries, were hospitalised. Nazia, daughter of Mohammed Mushtaq of the same village, also suffered splinter injuries. Shaukat had joined TA in 2007.

Earlier, confusion arose when some television reports identified Shaukat as a jawan of the army’s Punjab Regiment. It happened as a police officer identified Shaukat as one. Later, the army clarified that Shaukat was posted with the Territorial Army and not the Punjab Regiment.

The army said the Pakistani troops were constantly targeting civil areas and villages along the LoC. A local from Poonch town said Khari Karmara village was under heavy Pak shelling.

“There was panic among villagers and they stayed indoors,” he said.

Defence spokesman Lt Col Manish Mehta said around 6:30am, Pak army troops opened small arms, automatic weapons and mortar fire on Indian posts and forward villages.

The cross-firing between the two sides lasted till 11am.

In Islamabad, Pakistan summoned India’s deputy high commissioner JP Singh on Saturday over alleged firing by Indian troops Chirikot and Satwal sectors, leaving two Pakistanis dead and injuring three.

Pakistan accused India of violating the ceasefire along the LoC in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK), a Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson said in a statement.

Inter services public relations, a publicity wing of the Pak Army, said on its website that “Indian army opened unprovoked firing of small arms along the LoC in Chirikot and Satwal sector. Pakistan Army troops responded to Indian unprovoked firing”.

No fresh batch of Amarnath pilgrims left the Yatri Niwas base camp from Jammu for the cave shrine on Saturday in view of the volatile situation in the wake of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani’s death anniversary.

First Published: Jul 08, 2017 08:34 IST