A woman was amoung four civilians injured as Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and small arms fire at various places along the Line of Control in Poonch and Rajouri districts on Sunday evening. Senior police officials said that four civilians sustained splinter injuries during mortar from across the LoC in Poonch. Pointing out that police parties have been rushed to bring them to the hospital, they said that their condition was stable.
The shelling from Pakistan side started around 6 pm and the explosions caused by it were audible even in Poonch town. Sources said that the entire border in Shahpur and Kerni sectors falling on extreme left of Poonch town was affected.
The injured included Jameel Ahmed and Parvez Akhtar, both residents of Bandi Chechian, besides Zahid Hussain Shah and Mohammad Qasim, both residents of Qasba. Some houses also appeared to have been damaged, but details were awaited. According to a souce, the affected areas included Digwar, Noorkote, Khari, Karmara, Bandi Chechian, Qasba and Kerni. The mortar shelling and small arms fire from across the LoC was going on till 9 pm, though their intensity had come down considerably.
Meanwhile, Pakistani troops also resorted to mortar shelling and small arms fire in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district in the evening. However, there were no casualties or damage on Indian side in the area, sources said, adding that firing here lasted for only half an hour.
At both the places, Indian army retaliated effectively and strongly, sources added.
Significantly, less than 24 hours after both India and Pakistan held a battalion commander level flag meeting at Chakkan Da Bagh in Poonch on August 23 and agreed to maintain peace and tranquility along the border, there had been fresh spate of ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops. On Saturday, Pakistani Rangers had resorted to unprovoked small arms fire in Chicken Neck area. However, during retaliatory fire, BSF claimed to have killed three Pakistani Rangers.
Owing to repeated incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the LoC in Poonch district, there has been no cross LoC travel and trade between two sides through Chakkan Da Bagh on Poonch-Rawalakot road for the last two months. One hundred and sixteen passengers from Pakistan occupied Kashmir, who had come to the Indian side through Chakkan Da Bagh and been stranded on the Indian side for the past seven weeks, were sent home via Uri-Muzaffrabad road on Monday last.
Since May 1 this year, nine people including four soldiers have been killed and 12 others injured in unprovoked and indiscriminate mortar shelling and small arms fire at frequent intervals on the Indian side of the LoC by Pakistani troops in Rajouri and Poonch districts. Only last week, a junior commissioned officer and a woman were killed in Pakistani shelling in Krishna Ghati and Mendhar sectors respectively.