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J-K: Pakistani troops shell villages in Rajouri; 1,000 evacuated, 87 schools shut

Indian forces retaliated to fresh ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in Rajouri on Sunday even as district officials moved 996 people to relief camps.

india Updated: May 14, 2017 21:44 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times
Pakistan,Ceasefire violation,Rajouri
Smoke billows out after shelling by Pakistani army along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.(PTI)

Pakistani army violated ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri sector of Jammu and Kashmir early on Sunday, damaging buildings and forcing evacuation of nearly 1,000 border dwellers, following which Indian troops retaliated strongly.

Around 6.45am, the Pakistani troops started shelling using long-range 82 mm and 120 mm mortars, besides firing from small arms and automatic weapons, defence spokesperson Lt Colonel Manish Mehta said, adding Indian Army posts retaliated strongly.

This is the fourth ceasefire violation by Pakistan in four days and the second in Rajouri district in two days.

Rajouri deputy commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudgary said fresh ceasefire violation has been reported in ‘Chitibakri’ area of Chingus in Rajouri.

“More than seven villages have been affected,” he said.

Border residents take shelter in a bunker after Pakistani troops shelled at Nowshera sector of Rajouri district on Saturday. (PTI)

Police and district officials evacuated 996 people from areas along the LoC to relief camps.

Fifty one schools in Nowshera sector have been closed for an indefinite period while 36 in Manjakote and Doongi zones have been closed for three days, affecting 4,600 students, he added.

Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti will visit Rajouri later in the day to take stock of the situation. She will be accompanied by deputy CM Dr Nirmal Kumar Singh.

At least two civilians, including a minor girl, were killed and nine people, including four soldiers, were injured on Saturday as Pakistan pounded 35 villages and Indian posts with mortars along the LoC in Rajouri.

Border residents take shelter in a bunker after Pakistani troops shelled at Nowshera sector of Rajouri district on Saturday. (PTI)

So far, three camps have been made operational and 28 others notified in wake of expected migration from affected villages, Choudhary said.

“Six ambulances have been pressed into action for shifting of injured and treatment. One mobile medical unit was stationed at Nowshera and another deputed to forward areas,” he said.

Around 120 officers from various departments have been deployed to organise facilities at relief camp.

Residents of border villages in Nowshera gather at a relief camp on Saturday. (PTI)

The district administration has provided immediate relief and financial assistance to the kin of the deceased and to the injured, he said.

A control room has been established in the office of SDM Nowshera for coordination.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: May 14, 2017 08:03 IST