A 24-year-old youth was injured seriously as Pakistani shelling continued pounding villages along the Indian side of the Line of Control in Poonch district for the fourth day on Friday morning.
Identifying the injured as Arshad Hussain of Behrooti village in Balakote sector, local villagers told The Indian Express on phone that he was sitting inside his house when splinters of a shell falling nearby hit him. He has been rushed to the hospital.
Despite fresh ceasefire agreement at Director General level meeting between BSF and Rangers on September 10, there has been no let up in mortar shelling by Pakistan so far. Only a day after the ceasefire agreement, a BSF official was killed in firing from across the LoC in nearby Manjakote sector.
Pointing out the latest shelling started at Dharati village around 8.20 pm Thursday, sources said that Pakistani troops have been targeting forward Indian positions and civilian areas along the LoC in Poonch. The Indian army was also retaliating, sources said, adding that there were no reports of casualty or damage on the Indian side.
With shells falling here and there on villages, Shadham Khan, Sarpanch of Dharati panchayat, said that the people have taken refuge inside their houses.
Basharat Ahmad of Basooni said that two shells had fallen near the Balakote police post as well. However, there was no damage. The mortar shells were flying over the residential areas ahead of the barbed wire fence and falling deep inside the Indian side, he added.
The latest spate of shelling from across the border has led to panic among villagers who, however, are yet to migrate to safer places. “Where shall we go with our family members and cattle herds,’’ asked Shadham Khan. Despite assurances for initiating measures for our safety from visiting ruling politicians and senior officials from district administration, nothing has been done on ground so far, he added.
Eleven people have so far been killed and three dozen others injured ever since Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at Ufa in July and reiterated his government’s resolve to fight terror and have friendly relations with India.