Six persons, including a woman and a special police officer (SPO), were injured today as Pakistani Rangers rained mortar shells on Arnia sector along the International Border (IB) here, hitting Arnia town and a police station, officials said. BSF troops guarding the border retaliated and the heavy exchange of fire between the two sides was going on when last reports came in. The heavy firing triggering panic among locals who have started fleeing their homes, they said. The intense Pakistani shelling started a day after it “pleaded” with the BSF to stop firing, after being pounded with heavy artillery that left a trooper dead across the border.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Jammu, Vivek Gupta said so far six persons including a woman and a SPO have been injured in the Pakistani shelling in Arnia sector. The SPO was injured when one of the mortar shells landed at the local police station, Gupta told PTI. Another police official said the injured also included a 62-year-old woman Darshana Devi.
All the injured have been admitted to a hospital and their condition was stated to be “stable”, he said adding dozens of shells hit the Arnia main market causing panic among people. All schools within five kilometre area from the IB are closed as a precautionary measure, he said.
A senior BSF officer said mortar firing from across the border started around 0700 hours. “Three border outposts are under fire from Pakistani Rangers and the personnel deployed there are also retaliating to silence the Pakistani guns,” the official said.
Last night, Pakistani troops fired small arms and mortars, targeting Narayanpur area of Ramgarh sector in Samba district. The BSF yesterday released a 19-second thermal-imagery footage, showing the destruction of a Pakistani picket across the border, in retaliation to the unprovoked firing and shelling along the IB.
The BSF has lost two of its jawans in the latest round of unprovoked firing along the IB in Jammu region since May 15. Four civilians were killed and 11 others injured on Friday in the Jammu area due to the firing.
The state has witnessed a spurt in Pakistani shelling and firing along the IB and the Line of Control (LoC) this year. Over 700 such incidents have been reported this year, which have left 38 people, including 18 security personnel, dead and scores injured.