Three people were killed and 17 injured as Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked shelling on civilian areas along the International Border in R S Pura sector Friday, a day after Indian security forces in the Valley captured a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist who had sneaked into the state from across the Line of Control.
The dead have been identified as Subash Chander of Abdullian, and Banso Devi and Kanta Devi of Burejal Sai village.
The latest ceasefire violation comes two days ahead of a meeting between the two sides to firm up logistics and the agenda for the September 6 talks between the director generals of the Border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers in New Delhi.
Sources said trouble started around midnight as Pakistan Rangers fired small weapons on BSF border outposts in R S Pura sector. At dawn, they started mortar shelling on civilian areas, forcing the BSF to retaliate.
When the shelling started, one of the victims was taking water and fodder for cattle in the compound, while another was preparing breakfast for her family in the kitchen.
Those injured were rushed to the hospital by locals.
In July this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif had met in Ufa, Russia, where they reiterated their resolve to fight terror. However, sources said that Pakistani troops have continued to escalate ceasefire violations, and the number of such violations since July stands at 70-90, with seven deaths since then.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh condemned the attack and called for peace on the borders so that “innocent civilians do not get trapped in the vortex of violence”.
“We have to immediately explore ways and means to bring an end to the sufferings of the hapless civilians who have been subjected to great hardships over the last few months by the continuous shelling on the IB and the LoC,” Sayeed said.
BJP MP Jugal Kishore Sharma asked the Centre to give the armed forces a free hand to counter Pakistan’s aggression, while PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti called for an immediate meeting of DGMOs of both countries to bring an end to the bloodshed.
National Conference leader Taranjit Singh Tony criticised the NDA government for failing to rein in Pakistan.