A Border Security Force head constable was killed and seven civilians injured as Pakistani Rangers continued firing mortar shells and small arms fire at various places along the international border in Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts on Thursday. Meanwhile, Pakistani army also resorted to intense mortar shelling along the Line of Control in Sunderbani, Mendhar and KG sectors of Jammu region.
Sources identified the deceased head constable as Jitender Kumar of Bihar. He has been the third BSF personnel killed in Pakistani firing along the international border ever since the former foiled an infiltration attempt by heavily armed terrorists at Bobiya in Hiranagar sector on the intervening night of October 19-20. While Rangers continued smalls arms and mortar firing on Indian side of the international border in R S Pura and Arnia sectors for the last nearly six days, they resumed firing in Hiranagar sector after a lull of nearly a week.
Six people were injured at Gopar Basti in R S Pura sector during mortar shelling from across the international border in the morning. Another civilian got injured in nearby Khurd village, sources said. With this the number of injured in Pakistani firing since last week has risen to 30, while two people including a BSF personnel and a six-year-old boy have been killed.
A BSF spokesperson, however, said that a Pakistani Ranger was also killed and another injured in retaliation by them. “Pak troops somehow managed to evacuate the grievously injured trooper in a vehicle amidst heavy exchange of fire,” the spokesperson said, adding that , “Pakistan has resorted to very heavy firing which is being responded in a befitting manner” at all the places.
Disturbed over suffering losses during retaliatory fire by BSF, Rangers resorted to heavy mortar shelling along the border in Hiranagar and Samba as well. The shelling was so intense that people from a number of villages reportedly left for safer places.
Meanwhile, Pakistani troops resorted to small arms and automatic weapons fire, besides mortar shelling along the Line of Control in Sunderbani and Mendhar sectors, official sources said. The firing in Mendhar sector came around 5.30 pm, local villagers said, adding it was shelling heavily from Pakistani side on Balakote, Behrote, Samdote, Golak, Dharana and Basooni villages.
A defence ministry spokesperson Lt Colonel Manish Mehta said that Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked small arms, automatics and 82 mm mortar fire in KG sector from 5.10 pm. It was being responded effectively by Indian troops and there has been no casualty or damage on the Indian side.