Seven civilians, including two minors, were killed and eight others injured on Tuesday as Pakistani troops resorted to heavy shelling in Samba district and Balakote area of Mendhar in Poonch district. Among the deceased, six civilians were killed in Ramgarh area of Samba district. Two mortar shells struck the boundary wall of Mendhar Police station, injuring three civilians. The entire Mendhar Bazar wore a deserted look, with shopkeepers downing shutters and people rushing home to safety. Pakistani troops have also violated ceasefire and resorted to shelling in Nowshera sector.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, an 18-year-old girl, identified as Rajinder Kaur, from Jerda village in Ramgarh sector of Samba district died in Pak shelling. Sources said that two other villagers were also injured in the same area. However, their identity was not immediately known. Meanwhile, three civilians including two women were injured in Pakistani mortar shelling at Pindi Charkan in Arnia sector. Identified as Darshna Devi, Chanchlo Devi and Bodh Raj, all in the age group of 40-50 years, have been admitted in Government Medical College Hospital at Jammu. Another civilian was reported dead shortly after in the Ramgarh sector of Samba raising the death toll to seven.
Sources said that Pakistani Rangers have been firing 82 mm and 120 mm mortars, apart from resorting to small arms and automatic weapons fire to target civilian areas. The BSF have been retaliating at all the places.
On Monday, an army jawan and a woman were killed and five others, including two army jawans, injured in heavy Pakistani mortar shelling along the Line of Control in Rajouri and Poonch districts. Identified as Rifleman Bimal Tamang, 20, from Dharan in Nepal, the jawan was killed in Rajouri and the 50-year-old Rashida Bi at Golad near Mendhar in Poonch.
The unprovoked ceasefire violation in Manjakote and Ghambir areas of Rajouri district and Darana, Basooni and Golad in Poonch district followed three unsuccessful infiltration attempts in Kathua district since the night of October 29. Sources said that with winter approaching, Pakistan has been trying to push in terrorists before the mountainous passes are blocked due to snowfall.
Meanwhile, Pakistani troops started firing in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district along the LoC from 5.30 am in the morning. “They (Pakistani army) are using small arms, automatic weapons, 82mm and 120 mm mortars,” sources said, adding the Indian Army is responding befittingly and appropriately.