Two women were killed and nearly two dozen others injured as Pakistan continued shelling civilian population on the Indian side along the international border and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu Kashmir since Tuesday night.
Identifying both the deceased as Shanktla Devi and Bholi Devi of village Chilyari in Samba sector, sources said that while former died on the spot, the latter succumbed to her injuries at the hospital in Jammu.
The injured included a junior commissioned officer among three army personnel who got injured along the LoC in Sauujian and and equal number of BSF personnel injured on the international border in Arnia sector.
Significantly, as the situation along the border continued to escalate despite heavy rains and thunder storm lashing Jammu region throughout night, the Pakistani shelling spread to new areas along the international border. They started mortar shelling in Hiranagar sector of KATHUA district also which had remained peaceful even during the birder skirmishes between the two countries in July and August last.
Pointing out that the situation is escalating with each passing day, sources said that Pakistani Rangers for the first time resorted to firing on Indian side along the international border in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district which had remained peaceful even during border skirmishes between the two countries during July-August last.
The district administration has sounded alert in Samba and Hiranagar areas asking people to stay indoors. The administration has announced holiday in schools in border areas.
There was also heavy shelling going on at Jora Farm in R S Pura on Wednesday evening, sources said, adding that some people were also reported injured there. Reports of heavy shelling were also coming from other places in R S Pura and adjoining Arnia and Samba sectors.
Giving details, sources said that while three army personnel including Naib Subedar Subash Singh, Sepoy Surjit Singh and Sepoy Basant Kumar of 40 Rashtriya Rifles were injured in saujjian area of Poonch, ASI Resham Singh of the Border Security Force sustained splinter injuries in Kanachak sector. Three people were injured in Pargwal area as well.
Official sources said that all the BSF posts in Kanachak, Arnia and Pargwal in, besides Samba and Hiranaga were affected by Pakistani shelling. The BSF was also retaliating strongly and effectively.
Areas along the LoC in Mendhar and Poonch too were affected by mortar shelling from Pakistan side since Tuesday. Ever since both US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had during their two-hour long meeting in Washington committed to jointly fight terrorism, Pakistani troops and Rangers have resumed unprovoked firing on the Indian side along Line of Control and the international border. While a girl had been killed and nearly a dozen others injured in firing from across the border along the LoC so far, an army jawan was killed and another injured in IED explosion triggered by terrorists near the LoC in Mendhar last week.
In protest over repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan, India has decided not to contact it for flag meeting. Instead, it has asked the troops to retaliate effectively to incidents of ceasefire violation from across the border.
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