Even as an eerie calm prevailed along the international border in R S Pura and Arnia sectors for the last three days, Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing along the Line of Control in Rajouri district damaging a mosque and two houses at forward Mangalnarh village on Wednesday night.
A defence ministry spokesman Lt Colonel Maneesh Mehta here said that ceasefire violation by Pakistan was reported in Hamirpur sector around 9.30 pm. The Indian army also retaliated with equal caliber weapons and the exchange of small arms and automatic weapons fire was continuing between two sides till reports last came in around midnight, he said, adding that there was no casualty or damage on the Indian side.
Locals, however, said that Pakistani troops were directly targeting civilian population from across the LoC, with their bullets and mortars falling within the premises of residential houses. The damaged houses belonged to Mohammad Iqbal and Mohammad Akram, they said, adding that a mosque in the village was also damaged in firing from across the LoC causing resentment against Pakistan among the local villagers.
Pointing out that the Pakistani troops had resorted to unprovoked firing in the area on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday as well, sources said that the latest incident of ceasefire violation along LoC in Rajouri district came after security forces foiled an infiltration attempt by terrorists in Balakote sector of Poonch district the previous night.
After India calling off foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan in protest over latter’s meeting separatist leaders from Kashmir Valley, though the firing along the international border got stopped since Monday night, it has begun along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts. Official sources confirmed that there had been no firing along the international border in R S Pura and Arnia sectors last night.
However, sources said that people in R S Pura and Arnia sectors have been advised by police to switch off their lights and stay indoors after sun set so as to avoid getting caught in firing by Pakistan. Though there had been no word from officials so far, locals confirmed having received such an advice from local cops.
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