As Pakistan resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and firing of small arms, an army jawan was martyred, two civilians were killed and six others were injured in Poonch and Jammu districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan and Indian army has been trading heavy gunfire along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir that has killed nine persons over the last three days, according to police. The martyred army jawan has been identified as Sepoy Mandeep Singh who lost his life in the ceasefire violation in Krishna Ghati sector along LoC. The jawan was a resident of Alampur village of Sangroor in Punjab. The two deceased civilians are identified as Gaura Ram of Kapur Pur in RS Pura sector and Ghara Singh of Abdullian village. According to BSF spokesman, cross-border firing was underway in the area from Octroi to Chenab in Akhnoor village in the Suchetgarh sector of R S Pura from this morning. He said the firing in R S Pura sector stopped around 1.30 am but resumed again after four hours.
Till last reports, BSF was retaliating against the heavy shelling and firing and four Pakistani Rangers were killed beside their petroleum, lubricants and ammunition dump being destroyed. The Jammu and Kashmir government in the meantime has ordered the closure of all schools for three days within the five-kilometre distance of the International Border and Line of Control. The heavy firing has also forced residents living near the border to flee their homes and shift to their relatives’ places. Around 8,000-9,000 residents have already left their villages and migrated to safer places. According to police sources, over 1,000 people have been placed in camps in R S Pura, Samba and Kathua areas.
There has been immense unrest in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly with the opposition National Conference (NC) and Congress MLAs staging a walkout in protest on Saturday against the PDP-BJP government over mounting of casualties in India-Pakistan firing. NC lambasted the BJP for failing to safeguard the lives of jawans along the border and targeted MoS in PMO Jitendra Singh of accusing the NC of being anti-national. The NC and Congress raised anti-BJP slogans while the BJP resorted to sloganeering against Pakistan and accused the incumbent government of irresponsible behaviour.