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Two people including a Border Security Force head constable and a six-year-old boy were killed, while two BSF personnel among over half a dozen others including women and children injured as Pakistani Rangers resorted to heavy mortar shelling all along the international border from Suchetgarh sector in R S Pura to Pargwal in Akhnoor sector during wee hours of Monday.
The deceased have been identified as head constable as Sushil Kumar of Pahova in Kurukshetra district of Haryana and Vicky, 6, of Bihar. While the former died in Pakistani mortar shelling in R S Pura sector, the latter suffered splinter injuries at Lalyal in Kanachak sector. His mother Buniya Devi was injured, sources said, adding that the boy’s parents had come here from Bihar to work as agricultural labourers.
The injured BSF personnel included Assistant Sub Inspector R D Puri and constable Ayyapa Babu. The injured civilians have been identified as Parkasho Devi of Gajanso and Krishna Devi of Treva, Girdhari Lal of Sai, R S Pura , besides Sunil, 2, of Garkhal.
Sources said that the BSF was retaliating tat all the places. Over two dozen BSF posts were affected in fresh spate of intense mortar shelling which came from across the border after a lull of two-three hours, sources said. The shelling is so intense that it is audible even in areas situated nearly 20 kms away from the international border.
There were also reports to damage to civilian property and death of cattle also, but the details were not available. The people were staying indoors waiting for the shelling to stop.
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Earlier on Sunday evening after a lull of nearly 48 hours, Pakistani Rangers had violated ceasefire by resorting to only two – three small bursts fired between duty points at 6.20 pm. “No border petrol vehicle was targeted”, an official spokesperson had said.
Later at 9.45 pm, these were followed by the firing of a few 82 mm mortar shells in Korotana Khurd, Abdullian and Tube Well No. 5. However, there had been no damage on the Indian side. The Indian side retaliated and the exchange of mortar shelling had continued till mid night after Pakistani guns fell silent.
Significantly, the latest ceasefire by Pakistan has come A than 12 hours after Additional Director General of BSF Arun Kumar warned Pakistan that it will have to pay a heavy price if it tried even to touch any of its personnel. In this context, he referred to the killing of seven Pakistani Rangers in BSF retaliation to their skipper fire hitting latter’s sepoy Gurnam Singh in the head on Friday morning.
A day before getting hit by Pakistani bullet, Gurnam had been instrumental in foiling an infiltration attempt by a group of terrorists from across the international border into Bobiyan area of Hiranagar sector. One terrorist was also killed at that time.
Gurnam, who was admitted in intensive care unit of the Government Medical College Hospital at Jammu, succumbed to his injury at the midnight of October 22-23. His body was taken to his native village Rath anand in R S Pura tehsil where his cremation will take place on Monday.