Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing and shelling in various areas of Poonch including Laam sector.
Srinagar: As firing across the Line of Control (LoC) continues, three Army jawans were injured in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district and a woman and her brother were killed in Abbaspur village of PoK on Wednesday.
A defence spokesman in Jammu said that Pakistani troops violated the November 2003 ceasefire agreement by resorting to unprovoked firing and shelling in various areas of Poonch including Laam sector, injuring three Army jawans.
“The Indian Army is retaliating effectively and the exchanges are still on,” he said adding that the firing was initiated by the Pakistani troops by targeting the Indian forward positions and civilian areas of Poonch with small and automatic weapons and mortars at 8. 45 am on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, an Army jawan was killed in what the officials had said was unprovoked small arms firing and mortar shelling by the Pakistani troops in Poonch’s Krishna Ghati sector.
On Monday, two minors were killed and twelve other civilians including women and children were injured after the Pakistani troops pounded Indian forward positions and civilian areas in Poonch’s Dhigwar, Kerni and Shahpur sectors with mortars. A report-not confirmed by the authorities- had said that a 16-year-old girl identified as Tazeem Akhter who was among the injured later died in a hospital.
In Islamabad, the Pakistani officials alleged that it was the Indian troops who started firing which resulted into the death of a woman and her brother.
A spokesman of Pakistan army’s Inter-Services Public Relations said that the Indian shelling began at 6 am in the Abbaspur sector of PoK’s Poonch district and remained intense and indiscriminate until 9 am.
He said that one of the mortar shells landed in the house of one Haji Sakhi Mohammad Kiyani in Chaffar village of the sector, killing his daughter Zakia, 22, and son Kashif, 20.
In view of the flare up, the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Wednesday ordered the closure of schools near the LoC in worst-hit Dhigwar sector.
Poonch’s District Collector Tariq Ahmed Zargar said that he asked for closure of all government and private schools in the area “as a precautionary measure” to avoid any harm coming to the students, teachers and other staff at these schools.
Meanwhile, the J&K government has reviewed the rescue, relief and rehabilitation plan for the border-dwellers in the face of flare-up along the LoC. The official sources here said that Jammu’s Divisional Commissioner, Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, took note of the plan devised by respective district administrations in view of the cross-border shelling.
Bhandari has asked for close coordination among all government departments and other official agencies for ensuring prompt responses to urgencies in the event of cross-border firing. He also asked the concerned officials to ensure the safety of the border-dwellers.