An army jawan was among two people killed, while six others including a defence porter injured in unprovoked mortar shelling by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control in Krishna Ghati and Karmara areas of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
“One jawan along with a defence porter martyred in unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan today morning in KG sector,” said an army spokesperson here. He identified the deceased solder as Sepoy T K Reddy and defence porter Mohammad Zahier. About the injured including five army personnel and a porter, the spokesperson said that they are under medical treatment.
Sepoy Reddy, 21, hailed from village Obulapuram, Giddaluru tehsil in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh. He is survived by his mother Gurrumma, the spokesperson said, adding he was a brave and sincere soldier. The deceased porter was from village Kalali in Manjakote tehsil of Rajouri district. The nation will always remain indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty, he added.
Significantly, the unprovoked mortar shelling and small arms fire from Pakistan came only two days after it handed over a 35-year-old woman from Poonch to Indian troops at Chakkan Da Bagh. The Pakistani troops had described it “a gesture of goodwill and its efforts to maintain peace and tranquility along the Line of Control”.
Official sources said “Pakistani Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms and automatics from 10.35 am along the Line of Control in Krishna Ghati sector. The Indian Army is retaliating strongly and effectively,” he said, adding that the exchange of fire was going on.
Meanwhile, sources said that Pakistani troops also resorted to mortar shelling in Karmara area of Poonch sector. The mortar shelling was going on at intermittent intervals till afternoon, they added.
Significantly, Karmara is adjoining Chakkan Da Bagh cross LoC point on Poonch-Rawalakot road on where Pakistani troops had on Tuesday handed over to Indian Army one Azmat Jan of Digwar who, following an altercation with her husband at home, had crossed over to Pakistan occupied Kashmir in 2013. The woman happened to be the mother of three children.
In view of continued incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the LoC and the international border, both the cross LoC trade and travel between Jammu Kashmir and PoK stands suspended for the last over two months. Nearly half a dozen people have so far died and a dozen injured in Pakistani mortar shelling and small arms fire along the borders since last month.
Sources attributed the escalation on borders to growing desperation on Pakistan side over its failure to push in armed terrorists into the state before the onset of winter when mountainous passes get closed due to snow fall. Alert BSF troops in Arnia sector had last month detected an incomplete cross border tunnel emanating from Pakistan side of the international border.
During the past two months, there have been nearly 50 infiltration attempts from across the border and 44 of them were successfully foiled by alert troops, sources said. A few terrorists who somehow managed to enter the state have been eliminated, they added.
The shelling has also caused damage to residential houses at many places, making a sizeable number of people shift to safer places, while cross LoC trade and travel between two sides through Chakkan Da Bagh on Poonch-Rawalakote road remains suspended.
In retaliatory fire by Indian troops and BSF, Pakistan too has reportedly suffered heavy losses.