A teenage girl was killed and three other civilians injured in unprovoked shelling by Pakistan along the international border in Arnia sector of Jammu and Kashmir, which began late Wednesday night. A Border Security Force head constable was also killed last night as forces retaliated. The exchange of mortar shelling is underway; Pakistani troops are targeting forward Indian border outposts (BOPs) and civilian areas in adjoining Ramgarh sector.
The deceased was identified as Sweety, daughter of one Sat Pal of Dayal Chak village. According to sources, she was asleep when a mortar shell fell near her house. The injured included Chanchla Devi, 36; her husband Ramesh Chander, 47; and Darshan Lal, 55. They are all residents of Arnia town’s ward No 13.
A number of houses were also damaged in the shelling, causing panic in the area, sources said. The last incident of shelling in Arnia town was over a year ago.
BSF head constable A Suresh of 78 Batallion was killed last night. He was from Bandara Chetty Patty village in Dharmapuri district in Tamil Nadu.
Earlier on January 3, a BSF head constable R P Hazra of West Bengal’s Murshidabad area was killed on his birthday in a sniper fire from the Pakistan side. The next day, the BSF, in retaliatory action, killed nearly a dozen Pakistani Rangers across the International Border along Samba sector. The same day, forces also foiled an infiltration bid from across the border, killing a Pakistani terrorist in Arnia sector.
Sources attributed the incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistani Rangers and troops to growing desperation to push in a maximum number of terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir during winter.
There were 860 incidents of ceasefire violations along the border in 2017 — a sharp rise from the previous year. Last month, Army General Chief Bipin Rawat had visited forward posts in Rajouri district and exhorted troops to “remain vigilant’’ and be “ever ready”.
Significantly, the latest ceasefire violation by Pakistan comes following an intelligence report on a group of 3-4 terrorists camping at Chak Amru village near the Pakistani border outpost Sukhmal, opposite Samba sector. The report states that they are waiting for an opportunity to infiltrate the border. They were also seen conducting a recce of the area, the report added.