Jawan, woman killed in Pak shelling
STATE TIMES NEWS
POONCH : An army soldier on Monday attained martyrdom while one of the two women hurt succumbed to her injuries inflicted when Pakistani troops targeted Indian posts and villages using small arms and mortar shells along the Line of Control (LoC) in the twin frontier districts of Poonch and Rajouri.
“Ceasefire violations in Rajouri sector are being retaliated with massive fire assault. One army soldier was martyred,” a spokesman of the Army’s Northern Command said.
Two women were injured, one of them dying later, in the firing in Poonch sector.
“Two women have been injured. One of them seriously and has been shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC) Jammu (where she breathed her last),” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Poonch J S Johar said.
Pakistani troops violated ceasefire by firing on Indian positions and villages in the twin border districts since early this morning.
“Pakistani troops indulged in unprovoked ceasefire violation from 9 AM in the Balakot sector using 120 mm and 82 mm mortars, automatic and small arms,” an army officer said.
He said the troops were responding to the firing appropriately and befittingly.
Pakistani Army fired and shelled the forward posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Mendhar sector of Poonch district. They also violated ceasefire in several areas of Rajouri district this afternoon, the officer said.
There was firing and mortar bomb shelling in Mankot and Balakote areas along the LoC.
A lull had prevailed along the International Border (IB) since 9 PM on Sunday after ceasefire violations by Pakistani Rangers.
They had targeted BSF posts and civilian areas using small arms and mortar shells in continuous ceasefire violations along the IB in Samba, Kathua and Jammu districts, prompting BSF to retaliate.
STATE TIMES correspondent adds that at least four civilians and three army jawans were also injured in the daylong cross border shelling. Situation along the International border remained peaceful after intermittent firing which continued during the night in RS Pura, Arnia, Samba and Hiranagar sectors was stopped after 8.00 AM.
Several houses of civilians living close to the Line of Control in Chhajla and Darana areas of Balakote in Mendhar sector were hit by the Pak shelling injuring locals in the area.
A house belonged to a village elder suffered maximum damages while members of the family escaped unhurt as mortar shell pierced the roof of the Kucha house.
According to eye witness reports hundreds of civilians had taken shelter in their agricultural fields and remained stranded there when shelling from the Pak side started ay around 9.00 AM.
Defence PRO Lt Col Munish Mehta, “20 years old Rifleman Bimal Tamang hailing from Dharan area in Nepal was martyred in the ongoing ceasefire violation by Pak army”.
The district authorities in Poonch said 60 years old Rashida Begum was injured in Chhajla area. Her daughter Nazia Kausar was also injured and both of them were shifted to Sub Division Hospital where Rashida Begum succumbed to injuries.
Another lady Rubina Kausar, wife of Zahir Abbas, resident of Basuni Mohalla, Darana village sustained head injury due to Pak shelling and was evacuated to SDH.
Official sources said, house of Mohammed Aziz, in Thamblot,Chhajla came down due to Pak shelling. A lady identified as Sabina Bi, wife of Jahid age 36 years, resident of Darana was injured.
According to Deputy Commissioner, Poonch the local authorities in Mendhar had identified several government school buildings and private structures to accommodate border residents.
“We have even stocked ration supplies to feed border residents but despite persistent counselling majority of them were still not willing to step out of their houses in this weather”, he added.
Meanwhile, jawans of the BSF have been maintaining a tight vigil along the IB following fresh inputs of possible infiltration bids ahead of the reopening of Durbar Move offices in Jammu.
There have been more that 60 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the LoC and IB in the State since September 29 surgical strikes against terror launch pads by Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Eleven people, including three civilians, and eight security personnel were killed and over 40 people, mostly civilians were injured in the incidents.
“There were no reports of any firing on Sunday night in the RS Pura sector. Firing took place at one area in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district before 2000 hours,” Deputy Inspector General of BSF (Jammu frontier) Dharmendra Pareek said.
Three infiltration bids foiled in 3 days: BSF
Jammu: Three infiltration bids by heavily- armed terrorists, aided by cover fire by Pakistani troops, were foiled in the past 36 hours along the International Border (IB) in Hiranagar sector, BSF said on Monday.
There have been six infiltration bids in the past 12 days along IB in Jammu frontier, it said, adding Pakistan has been relentlessly trying to push heavily-armed militants into India with nefarious intention of disturbing peace and cause causalities of security forces in the hinterland.
“There were three attempts of infiltration by groups of terrorists which have been successfully foiled by the alert BSF troops in the face of danger to their lives,” BSF DIG Dharmendra Pareek said here.He said the attempts were made on Saturday and Sunday under the cover of heavy cross-border firing and shelling by Pakistani Rangers in Hiranagar sector of Kathua.
Giving details, he said in the wee hours of October 29, a group of three heavily-armed terrorists attempted to sneak in from Hiranagar sector while Pakistan Rangers provided covering fire to them. However, alert BSF troops forced them to retreat by effective fire, he said.
“On October 30 around midnight, again a heavily-armed group of three terrorists was detected by alert troops across the IB in another area of Hiranagar sector and they reached the vicinity of International Border, taking advantage of dead ground.
“They were kept under close watch. On effective fire of BSF, they took shelter in dead ground having thick wild growth, Pareek added.
He said the BSF troops kept the area under close watch during the whole day yesterday and while whole the country was celebrating Diwali, the alert BSF troops spotted a group of terrorists in the evening close to the IB.
“They remained hidden during the day for infiltration.
The BSF troops on duty, maintaining high alert round-the-clock on the International Border, being well aware of ill intentions of Pakistan, particularly in view of Diwali festival, opened fire to neutralize them, the DIG said.
He said that on being exposed, the terrorists targeted BSF troops on duty by resorting to heavy firing but were forced to retreat by effective fire.
“Once they were targeted heavily by BSF with accurate fire, the Pakistan Rangers came to their rescue and provided covering fire support to the militants for their safe withdrawal towards Pakistani villages,” Pareek said.
“The terrorists were seen moving half-bending, crawling and running to save their life towards Pakistan village of Abhiyal Dogra, the DIG said.