In continued incidents of unprovoked ceasefire violation from across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistani troops on Wednesday resorted to mortar shelling at various places along the border in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district. An army spokesperson here said that the “Pakistani troops initiated small arms, automatics and mortar fire from 10.35 am along the LoC in Nowshera sector”. “The Indian army was retaliating strongly and effectively,” he added.
Meanwhile, sources said that entire LoC in Kalsian, Bhawani and Baba Khori was active with Pakistani troops indiscriminately firing mortar shells, automatics and small arms fire on the Indian side. The people were hiding inside their houses as it was difficult to move out of the area towards safer places at present.
Significantly the late latest incident of ceasefire violation has come three days after four civilians including a woman were injured at Bandi Chechian and Qasba areas of Poonch in mortar shelling from across the border. The fresh spate of unprovoked shelling and firing has begun as day after Pakistan troops at a flag meeting with their Indian counterpart at Chakkan Da Bagh in Poonch last week had agreed to maintain peace and tranquility on the border.
In the wake of continued incidents of unprovoked mortar shelling, besides automatic and small arms fire by Pakistan side, the cross LoC travel and trade on Poonch-Rawalakot road stands suspended for the last two months. An over 115 residents of Pakistan occupied Kashmir who had travelled over to this side through Poonch-Rawalakot road and later got stranded for nearly a month due to the suspension of bus service had to return home through Uri-Muzaffarabad road. This could be made possible only after Indian officials took up the matter with their PoK counterpart to facilitate return of cross LoC passengers stranded on both sides. Three Indian passengers stranded in PoK too had returned through Kaman Post on Uri-Muzaffrabad road.
Since May 1 this year, nine people including four soldiers have been killed and 12 others injured in unprovoked and indiscriminate mortar shelling and small arms fire at frequent intervals on the Indian side of the LoC by Pakistani troops in Rajouri and Poonch districts. Only last week, a junior commissioned officer and a woman were killed in Pakistani shelling in Krishna Ghati and Mendhar sectors respectively.
The frequent skirmishes along the LoC, which are being attributed to increase desperation on Pakistan side to push in maximum number of terrorists in the state this summer, have already made an over 3,000 people including women and children migrate from their houses near the border to safer places. Of them, an over 1,000 are staying at camps set up by the district administration, while others have gone to the houses of their relatives.