As guns fell silent on both sides, a tenuous calm prevailed along the international border from Pargwal to Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir since Saturday evening. “Border was almost calm except a few rounds/shells in Arnia area,” official sources said. However, BSF troops were maintaining alert, they added.
Meanwhile, the death toll in Saturday’s exchange of fire along the border has risen to five as one more army personnel succumbed to injuries at the hospital. With this, the death toll on the Indian side in January this year has risen to 12 including three Army men, three BSF personnel and six civilians, with injuries to nearly 50 others. Of them, ten have died during the last four days. Also Read: J-K: Four more killed in Pakistan border firing, January toll almost equal to all of 2017
The death toll has been almost equal to the number of casualties on the Indian side during entire 2017 when nearly a dozen people, including security force personnel, were killed and less than three dozen injured on the entire border from Kathua to Poonch district.
Most of the villages along the international border continue to bear a deserted look as nearly the entire population had shifted to safer places in view of escalation along the border during the past four days. Sources said most people had shifted to their relatives.
Among those killed on Saturday were Sepoy Mandeep Singh of Punjab’s Sangrur district, posted in K G Sector in Poonch district, and Ghara Singh, 17, of Kapoorpur village, Ghar Singh, 35, of Bera Suchetgarh village, and Tasem Lal, 35, of Gajansoo village in Kanachak sector. Apart from BSF ASI Jarnail Singh, posted in Suchetgarh, and an SSB jawan at the Kanachak police station, the injured included civilians in Suchetgarh, Samka village, Gulabgarh Basti, Abdal village, and Gajansoo village.