In what may be called the biggest ceasefire violation during the current year, Pakistani Rangers, ahead of the Foreign Secretary talks between India-Pakistan, targeted Border Security Force forward positions and residential areas along the international border in Arnia and R S Pura sectors throughout last night.
A civilian was injured along with half a dozen cattle and various structures were damaged.
A BSF spokesman here said that 20 BSF border outposts were affected by Pakistani fire. However, while there was no casualty or damage on BSF side, injuries among civilians and damage to their property was being ascertained, he added.
However, reports appearing in Pakistan media said that at least two Chenab Rangers and a civilian were injured on its side of the border in firing by BSF in Charwah and Chaprar sectors near Sialkot. Pointing out that some livestock were also killed in firing from Indian side, these reports said that the firing which began on Sunday night and continued till Monday morning, came days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused Pakistan of waging a proxy war in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, identifying the injured civilian as Attar Singh of Treva in Arnia sector, sources said the continued Pakistani firing has led to tension in border areas with people not prepared to venture out in the open especially their fields. They were reluctant even to spend nights in their houses as mortar shells are raining on residential areas as well. Though there has been no migration of people from border villages, it can start if situation does not improve, sources said.
The local villagers from Korotana held a demonstration against the Omar Abdullah government and, also, the local BJP MP Jugal Kishore Sharma in protest over their callous attitude towards the miseries of border villagers, especially when Pakistani bullets and mortars were raining on their houses. Choudhary Mohan Singh, a social activist and local Congress leader, asked both the Central and the state governments to initiate steps for safety of people living in border areas.
The latest incident of firing from across the border, which began around 9.50 pm on Sunday with the firing of two mortars by Pakistan on a BSF post in Arnia sector, has been the 12th during the current month. It soon spread to most part of the international border in Arnia and R S Pura sectors compelling the BSF to retaliate with equal caliber weapons. The exchange of fire continued throughout the night.
Earlier during wee hours of Sunday, the Pakistani Rangers and troops had resorted to unprovoked firing at various places along the international border in R S Pura, Arnia sectors and the Line of Control in Poonch. Pakistan has been resorting to unprovoked firing on Indian side both along the international border and the LoC at frequent intervals since August 5.
Initially, the unprovoked continued…
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