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In a retaliatory attack to the cross border firing that claimed the lives of four soldier, Indian troops on Sunday gunned down a Pakistani soldier along the Line of Control in Jhangar sector in Jammu and Kashmir, Army sources said. The incident occurred at 1100 am when a Pakistan army sniper was seen taking a position and ‘neutralised’.
A day after four Indian soldiers, including a Major, were killed in a ceasefire violation from across the Line of Control in Keri sector of Rajouri district, Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing on forward Indian positions in Shahpur area of J&K’s Poonch district.
Pointing out that the attack by Pakistani troops came around 12 noon, sources said they resorted to firing small arms, automatics and mortars. The Indian troops retaliated and the exchange of fire was going on till reports last came in the evening, sources said. “Firing and shelling exchanges started at 1.30 pm, and were continuing,” the official added.
Meanwhile, ANI reported that gunshots were heard in the militant hotbed of south Kashmir’s Shopian district. The sound of firearms were heard from Arem Mohallah Watoo village and the Army and police have launched a joint cordon and search operation.
On Sunday, a tenuous calm prevailed along the LoC in Rajouri district where the four Indian soldiers – Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail Singh, Lance Naik Kuldeep Singh and Sepoy Pargat Singh – were killed on Saturday.
Major Ambadas (32) belonged to Maharashtra’s Bhandara district and is survived by his wife Avoli Moharkar. Lance Naik Gurmail Singh (34) hailed from Amritsar and is survived by his wife Kuljit Kaur and a daughter, while Lance Naik Kuldeep Singh, 30, belonged to Bhatinda, Punjab, and he is survived by his wife Jaspreet Kaur and two children. Sepoy Singh (30) was from Karnal and is survived by his wife Ramanpreet Kaur and a son.
Northern Army Commander Lt General D Anbu and other officials paid homage to Major Ambadas and Lance Naik Kuldeep Singh, who succumbed to their injuries after being airlifted to Command Hospital at Udhampur from Rajouri.
The ceasefire violation on Saturday occured around 12.15 pm and such a large-scale escalation of unprovoked firing caught the Indian side by surprise. Though there have been stray incidents in the adjoining Nowshera sector of small arms firing from the Pakistan side, such a high number of casualties has come after a month.
Sources attributed the ceasefire violation to a “growing desperation” on the Pakistan side to “push in armed terrorists” into India before closure of the mountain passes this winter. The security forces and the police have killed over 200 militants, including many top commanders, this year.
At least a dozen people, including civilians and soldiers, have been killed in nearly 300 incidents of ceasefire violations along the border in 2017 — a sharp rise from the 228 such incidents last year.