A 15-year-old girl was injured after Pakistani troops on Sunday resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and small arms fire along the Line of Control in Poonch district’s Shahpur area of Jammu and Kashmir. The shelling comes two days after Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in Samba district foiled an infiltration bid from across the international border.
Sources told The Indian Express that the ceasefire violation from across the border started at around 11 am and is ongoing. Pakistani troops have been shelling forward Indian positions, with a few mortars even landing near civilian areas. The Indian army is retaliating strongly, sources added. Shahnaz Bano of Islamabad village of Shahpur was injured in the Pakistani firing and hospitalised, a police officer said.
Sources attributed the repeated incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan to “desperation across the border” in a bid to push a maximum number of militants into J&K. On Thursday night, BSF personnel foiled an infiltration attempt from across the international border in Samba district. The same night, Pakistani troops had resorted to mortar shelling in Nowshera and Keri sectors. In view of border shelling, the administration has already ordered the closure of schools falling within 5 kms from the border.
With 860 ceasefire violation recorded in 2017, January is likely to record the highest number of ceasefire violations along the LoC in 14 years. India and Pakistan agreed to a formal ceasefire in 2003 along the LoC which lasted, with certain exceptions, till late 2016. There were 271 ceasefire violations on the LoC in 2016, a climb-down from 387 violations in 2015.
(With PTI inputs)
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