Indian and Pakistani troops traded heavy fire on Thursday along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir that left a Border Roads Organization (BRO) employee dead while several others including some civilians were injured.
“Pakistan Army initiated indiscriminate firing and shelling on our positions on the LoC in Rajouri district’s Naushera sector and Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch,” Defence Ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta said, adding that both the small arms and heavy mortars were used in the firing. The firing started in Naushera sector at 7.20 a.m., and at 7.40 a.m. in Krishna Ghati which left at least one person dead.
From the Indian side a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) official was killed and four persons, including a Border Security Force (BSF) trooper, were injured as the armies of India and Pakistan exchanged heavy fire and shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in Mendhar area of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir.
The BRO officials, part of General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF), were working on Dabraj road of Mendhar when a mortar shell landed near them. The injured GREF men, identified as Radha Krishnan, Mohammad Parvez and Sarvan Kumar, were rushed to Mendhar hospital where from two of them were referred to GMC&H Jammu in serious condition. One of them succumbed later.
BSF Havaldar, who was injured in the incident was treated at a local army hospital, while a civilian from Dabraj, injured in the shelling, underwent treatment at Mendhar hospital. “Indian troops guarding the borderline retaliated the fire and gave a befitting reply,” said Mehta.
Intermittent exchange of fire was continuing when last reports came in. Small arms automatics and mortars are said to be used in firing.
Meanwhile, as per Pakistani army statement three people were injured when Indian troops resorted to “unprovoked” firing along the Line of Control (LoC).
“Indian troops opened fire at Battal, Jandrot and Hotspring sectors at [the] LoC,” said a Pakistani army official in a statement. The latest incident of cross-border firing comes days after Indian army had claimed that it carried out an “operation” on Pakistani posts along the LoC in a bid to prevent “infiltrators” from entering India. However, Pakistan had denied India’s claims.
Earlier the Indian Army claimed to have destroyed a Pakistan Army post in the Naushera sector in Jammu and Kashmir by carrying out fire assaults along the Line of Control (LoC) as part of its “anti-terror operations”, further escalating the tensions between the two countries.
Militant movement has intensified near the de-facto border between India and Pakistan and the stepped up militant activity has also come at a time when the cross border firing has increased between Indian and Pakistani troops in Rajouri and Poonch sectors which has triggered evacuation of hundreds of families.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports said that five Pakistan soldiers were killed in retaliatory firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch on Thursday.
The retaliatory firing according to the reports took place at Nowshera sector of Poonch today.
However, there was no confirmation of the killing across the border.