A labourer with the General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) was killed and five people, including a BSF head constable, were injured as Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and automatic weapons fire along the Line of Control in Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. The Indian Army retaliated “strongly and effectively”, killing two Pakistani soldiers across the Nowshera sector, said official sources who did not wish to be named.
Defence spokesman Lt Col Manish Mehta said: “One civil GREF labourer was martyred, and one GREF driver injured in ceasefire violations. One head constable of BSF received splinter injury in the Krishna Ghati sector.”
The Pakistan foreign office, which summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad to lodge a protest against the alleged firing by Indian troops at Battal, Jandrot and Kotli, said two civilians were killed and five were injured on its side of the border. While one person was killed and four injured in the Battal sector, another person was killed and one injured in Kotli sector, it added.
The trouble started after Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and firing from automatic firearms on the Indian side in Nowshera at 7.20 am. Twenty minutes later, they opened another front by targeting civilian areas in Krishna Ghati around 7.40 am. Lt Col Mehta said the Pakistani troops fired 82 mm and 120 mm mortars, apart from automatics and small arms fire.
Sources identified the injured as Radha Krishnan, Mohammad Parvez and Sarvan Kumar, besides Harun Rashid, a civilian from Dabraj, and a BSF head constable. The identities of the labourer who was killed and the BSF man was not immediately known. Pointing out that all the 4-5 villages in the Balnoi area also came under attack from Pakistani troops, sources said while Rashid got injured when a shell fell near his house at Dabraj village, the BSF man was injured when another shell fell on the road to Sagra village. The other three were injured while working on the roadside at Sangra.
With PTI inputs