After a brief lull in firing along the Line of Control in Nowshera sector, the border area in adjoining Rajouri sector came alive as Pakistani troops resorted to mortar shelling at various places on Sunday morning. The entire border from Peer Badesar, adjoining Nowshera, to Tarkundi in Balakote sector of Mendhar were targetted, according to sources. However, there have been no reports of any casualty on the Indan side so far. Pointing out that Tarkundi falls in both Rajouri and Mendhar sectors, sources said that “only 2-3 posts falling in the latter area were hit by Pakistani shelling”.
Defence ministry spokesperson, Lt Colonel Manish Mehta said: “Pakistani troops initiated indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics, 82 mm and 120 mm mortars from 6.45 am along the LoC in Rajouri sector. The Indian army posts are retaliating strongly and effectively. The firing is presently on.”
On Saturday, two civilians were killed and seven, including four Army personnel, were injured after Pakistani troops fired 120 mm and 80 mm mortar at various places in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district on the Line of Control.
Rescue teams comprising of civil and police officials, besides doctors and para medical staff, have rushed to the affected areas in Nowshera sector to access the damage and provide medical care.
Nearly 200-300 houses have been damaged, mostly partially, in shelling from across the LoC, said Harbans Lal Sharma, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Nowshera. A large number of live stock were reportedly killed and injured in the shelling.
The rescue teams have been directed to first clear the carcasses before they begin to decompose and pollute the air, Sharma said. Apart from ambulances, the administration has pressed into service mobile bulletproof bunkers to aid the police in rescuing locals, he said.
Nearly 1,100 people including women and children were rescued and brought to relief camps set up by the administration at Nowshera last night. The civil administration has already ordered the closure of 87 schools that are falling in close proximity to the border in Rajouri district.