An old GREF barrack and a roller were damaged as Pakistani army Friday violated the ceasefire and resorted to heavy shelling on and along the Line of Control (LoC) in twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch.
Indian army, too, retaliated in equal measure thus ensuing heavy exchange of fire between two sides. So far, there was no report of any casualty on Indian side, officials said.
In the meanwhile, on the International Border (IB) also, three houses suffered extensive damages and few cattle were injured in overnight heavy shelling by Pakistan in Chandwa belt of Hiranagar sector in Kathua district.
In Rajouri district, Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and small arms fire at various places along the Line of Control this afternoon.
PRO Defence Lt. Col Devender Anand, while confirming ceasefire violation, said, “Around 1315 hours on Friday, Pakistani army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing small arms and shelling with mortars along LoC in Sunderbani sector.” Indian army retaliated befittingly, he added.
Later, in the evening around 6.30 pm, Pakistani troops initiated unprovoked mortar shelling and small arms firing in Kalal area of Nowshera sector as well.
Locals said in Pak shelling, a barrack and a roller belonging to GREF (General Reserve Engineer Force) were damaged when a number of shells fell within the premises of GREF at village Deeng in Kalal area near Nowshera. However there were no casualties as a few GREF labourers had gone into the underground bunker before the shells landed there. There was no official word about damage to any property.
The firing continued till about 2 PM and the most affected areas were Meenka Mahadev, Nah Nali, Dadal of Sunderbani sector.
Last night too, the Pakistani army violated the ceasefire along LoC in Poonch-Rajouri sector. That provocation was also retaliated effectively to inflict damage on Pakistani posts, officials said.
Significantly, the Pakistani shelling in Rajouri came a day after the Indian army in a retaliatory fire killed at least two Pakistani soldiers along the LoC opposite Poonch’s Krishna Ghati area. Some Pakistani posts were also damaged in the firing by Indian army which followed unprovoked mortar shelling by Pak troops on the civilian population in KG sector.
On IB, in Hiranagar sector, Pak violated ceasefire and shelled border posts and villages last night. “The firing, which started at around 9.30 PM, continued till 4.00 AM this morning. Three houses suffered damages and few cattle were also injured,” locals said.
Earlier in Kathua, Pakistani Rangers shelled mortars and fired at forward areas along the International Border all through Tuesday night, triggering protests by people living in these areas on Wednesday. The Pakistani side started firing and shelling along the IB in Chandwa belt of Hiranagar sector late Tuesday, officials said.
BSF troops guarding the border gave a befitting reply, resulting in exchanges overnight, they added. Meanwhile, people of Channtanda area of Hiranagar took to the streets on Wednesday to protest the shelling and firing on civilian hamlets in Kathua. Raising anti-Pakistan slogans, they demanded that Pakistan be given a befitting reply.
The protesters said Pakistan rangers have been firing and shelling villages, particularly Manyari, Pansar and Rathwa, for the last two months and causing damage to houses and other structures.